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Rev. James Leach 




















PREFACE ....... v 

















THE very large number of changes some five hundred 
made in this edition will not, I hope, be attributed to 
carelessness or undue haste in the preparation of the 
first. It was as good as I was then able to make it, 
when ' I had no certain dwelling-place,' and so could not 
refer at will to an adequate library. I have also since 
had the benefit of much helpful and kindly criticism, for 
which I gratefully thank friends known and unknown. 
1 may say that there is not a passage in this version 
which I have not carefully reconsidered, with full weigh- 
ing of conflicting interpretations of scholars. I have, I 
hope, succeeded in indicating the connection of thought 
between those passages where it was previously not 
clear to me, of which Philippians iii, 2, may serve as an 
example. I have substituted what seemed worthier ren- 
derings for expressions which appeared unnecessarily 
colloquial or undignified, and have throughout aimed at 
making the translation not only as correct, but as rever- 
ent, as was possible for me. 

I have in this edition added the Epistle to the He- 
brews, in response to the request of readers who urged 
that it needed an explanatory translation no less than 
the letters of St. Paul. 




THE object of the present version of St. Paul's Letters is 
to set before English readers, not so much a translation 
in modern English, as one in which (i) the meaning of 
the original shall not be obscured by the condensed liter- 
ality of a word-for-word rendering such as is adopted in 
the Authorised and Revised Versions : (2) the connection 
of thoughts, the sequence of subjects, the continuity of 
the argument, shall, by the supply of the necessary 
links, be made throughout clear to the reader, without 
his having recourse to notes or a commentary. 

i. There are passages in the Authorised Version 
which have been understood in a sense totally different 
from that of the writer, not only by laymen, but by 
preachers, owing to the close literality of the rendering : 
e 'S-> ' Quench not the Spirit, ' ' Have no confidence in 
the flesh.' There are others which, for the same reason, 
convey no definite meaning to the average reader : e.g., 
' The creature was made subject to vanity, ' ' We stretch 
not ourselves beyond our measure, as though we reached 
not unto you.' 

The very limited range allowed in translating the pre- 
positions has made the Authorised Version sometimes 
quite Oriental in the vagueness of the sense which it 
conveys to the unassisted reader. The prepositions on, 
by, through, with, are often compelled to do duty for 

vi Letters of St. Paul. 

which they are inadequate, with the result that, being 
required to express too much, they express practically 
nothing. Hence we find such collocations as ' Shall 
justify the circumcision by faith, and the uncircumcision 
through faith ' which, to a ' plain man ' who has not 
a commentary at his elbow, sounds like a mere juggling 
with words. 

Conceding all that is urged in praise of the dignity 
and beauty of the Authorised Version, and the charm of 
its rhythm, it can hardly be denied that, if the first re- 
quisite of a translation is that it shall convey with abso- 
lute clearness the meaning of the original, that version is 
in many parts of the Epistles far from adequate. If a 
student handed in such a rendering of a passage of Thu- 
cydides or Plato, as the Authorised Version supplies (to 
give but one instance) of n Corinthians, x, 13-16, he 
would be told by his tutor that he did not understand 
his author. 

2. To the mass of readers and hearers who are un- 
trained in theology, who do not consult commentaries, a 
prominent feature of St. Paul's style is an apparent lack 
of continuity of thought, sometimes almost amounting 
to incoherence. The transition from subject to subject, 
from step to step of an argument, is not clear ; there 
seem to be links wanting. The writer appears to pass 
from one thought to another which has no obvious con- 
nection with it. In multitudes of his sentences which 
begin with ' For,' the inference is by no means apparent. 
These peculiarities are especially noteworthy in Romans 
and i Corinthians. The consequence is, that to many, 
very many, Christians, St. Paul's Epistles are a treasury 
of precious texts, of inspiring passages ; but to compara- 
tively few is he a really connected thinker, or a writer 
whose language is characterized by sharp precision, and 
limpid clearness of expression. 

Preface. vii 

I am far from condemning the Authorised Version on 
these grounds. For the purpose which its authors had 
in view it was almost as perfect as the conditions under 
which they worked allowed of its being. It was pro- 
duced in an age of doctrinal controversy, when the final 
appeal was invariably to the letter of Scripture. Hence 
the one thing needful in the eyes of the theologians of 
that time was a version which represented the ipsissima 
verba of Scripture, the explanation being left to special- 
ists. The Revised Version, being a revision, not a new 
translation, was executed under restrictions which neces- 
sitated the presence in it of the same advantages and 
disadvantages ; hence almost all objections raised, on 
these particular grounds, to the Authorised Version apply 
equally to the Revised Version. Against the great ad- 
vantages of a translation executed on such lines must be 
set one very serious disadvantage, which is more felt in 
these days than ever before. Readers and hearers who 
want to grasp the spirit of St. Paul's teaching, to follow 
intelligently his arguments in every detail, to enter into 
his thoughts and emotions, to appreciate the circum- 
stances and mental attitude of the writer and those first 
addressed by him, are continually baffled by the lack of 
assistance afforded by what are practically the only ver- 
sions generally accessible. We often hear the clergy 
complain that to the mass of their hearers the doctrines 
and claims of their religion seem to be something un- 
real, outside their lives. May not this be in some mea- 
sure due to the literary form in which those doctrines, 
which are elaborated by St. Paul, and by him only, are 
presented to them in his writings ? The somewhat archaic 
diction produces a sense of aloofness from the speech, 
and, by consequence, from the thoughts, of our daily 
life ; the frequent seeming vagueness of expression, 
which leaves too much to the imagination, and the ap- 

viii Letters of St. Paul. 

parent disconnectedness, one might almost say inconse- 
quence, of the argument, create a feeling of unreality 
which may have something to do with making religion, 
for many professors of it, so much a matter of formal 
profession and ritual observance, that it and their daily 
life of thought and action seem to belong to two different 
spheres. Saint Paul is not quite Paul the man, with his 
weaknesses, his impulsiveness, his clinging affection, his 
clear-headed common-sense. His writings are not read 
as real letters ; they are Epistles, religious and doctrinal 
treatises, grave, dignified, and somewhat stilted. Split 
up into chapters and verses as they are, they scarcely 
read as organized wholes, as outpourings of intense 
earnestness, dominated each by its leading thought, of 
which the writer never loses sight. Considerable por- 
tions of some of them are too often regarded as wastes 
of somewhat obscure reference to views and practices 
which have largely lost all interest for us moderns, yet 
interspersed with oases of exquisite charm and spiritual 
refreshment. They contain a large number of ' verses ' 
which are (especially when removed from their context) 
very inspiring, suggestive, and comforting ; but they also 
contain a multitude of admonitions, appeals, and warn- 
ings, the connection of which with the circumstances of 
the writer's life is but vaguely perceived, and which seem 
to be empty of interest and instruction for us. 

I hope I shall not be supposed guilty of the folly of 
calling these versions ' blunders ' on such grounds. Such 
a literal rendering as they present is, as a court of ap- 
peal in matters of faith, the only possible one. It is also 
the only form of translation about which there can be 
anything like general agreement : no expanded, explana- 
tory translation could be final, as is evidenced by the im- 
mense variety of opinions as to the interpretation of very 
many passages in the Epistles. It is the only version 

Preface. ix 

for which permanent acceptance could reasonably be ex- 
pected ; since the explanatory translation which would 
suit the habits of thought and expression of one age 
would not suit those of another. But, while the perfect 
literal translation is indeed indispensable, the welcome 
which has been accorded to more than one freer version 
is evidence that there is a real want, perhaps more felt 
than expressed, for one which any person of ordinary 
education may read without having to pause in doubt as 
to the meaning of the Apostle, without having to grope 
for a clue to the transition from thought to thought, from 
argument to argument. Excellent in various ways as 
some of these versions have been, they have seemed to 
me to fall short of the reader's full requirements, through 
this circumstance, that their authors do not appear to 
have fully recognised the necessity of supplying such 
connective links. They would seem to have accepted 
this (apparent) inconsequence, or incoherence, this trick 
of abrupt transition, as a characteristic of St. Paul's 
style, and, in some degree, of his mental constitution. 

Yet it is, on the face of it, very improbable that a man 
who achieved so much, not by picturesque eloquence, 
but by dint of sheer argument, whose few recorded 
speeches are clearly expressed, and perfectly connected, 
whose letters were described even by his opponents as 
' weighty and powerful,' with the implication, too, that 
they were far superior to his spoken utterances, should 
have developed his views in these letters in such a manner 
as to leave the smallest chance that, through any defects 
of style, they should fail of having all the effect which 
he desired. May we not, rather, reasonably compare 
them to those demonstrations in mathematics in which 
' intermediate steps ' are purposely left out, because it 
is assumed that the student is sufficiently equipped to 
supply them almost unconsciously, and to pass without 

x Letters of St. Paul. 

embarrassment from one stage to another, between which 
the tyro perceives no connection whatever ? 

It does seem reasonable to assume that the people who 
first listened to these letters, read out by the elder of the 
little church to a few dozen hearers crowded into an 
upper room, or into some barn-like structure lent for 
their assemblies, found no real difficulty in following the 
writer's line of thought, and that they did not carry away 
a vague impression of his meaning : it is very certain 
that he did not intend, that he did not conceive it possi- 
ble, that they should. Moreover, judging by the re- 
corded effect of one of them and that not the easiest to 
modern readers (i Corinthians) there seems no reason 
for supposing that they did. Yet the mass of them were 
neither cultured, nor particularly intellectual, if we may 
judge from their antecedents. To what, then, may we 
attribute the perfect intelligibility of these letters to those 
to whom they were first addressed ? Four considerations 
may go far to account for it. First, of course, the letters 
being written in the language of their daily life, with 
the colloquialisms and ellipses to which they were used, 
they would not be troubled by purely verbal difficulties. 
Secondly, to the special usages of words which had been 
transferred by their teachers from a secular to a religious 
connotation, and to the peculiar strain put upon preposi- 
tions, the Apostle and the instructors he had left behind 
him had accustomed them. Thirdly, as to the arguments 
themselves and their connection, the characteristic trans- 
itions from subject to subject : in most cases the hearers 
were familiar with Paul's manner, and would probably 
have heard in extenso many arguments of which the letter 
furnished a condensed memorandum. Fourthly, the 
bearer of the letter, always an intimate friend of the 
writer, sometimes his amanuensis, would probably be 
familiar with its contents beforehand, might well have 

Preface. xi 

heard the Apostle's comments upon it, would possibly be 
entrusted with supplementary verbal communications ; 
and so would be prepared to explain difficulties, to ex- 
pand condensations, and to supply any links of thought 
that might be required. The public reader of the Epistle 
might then conceivably do this for the hearers, in a run- 
ning comment. 

Assuming the existence of some such conditions as I 
have indicated, I have endeavoured to put my readers 
in the place of those who first listened to these letters. 
I have ventured, where it seemed necessary, on such an 
expansion of the sense as should make it as plain to the 
modern reader as it was to those whose familiarity with 
the subjects referred to, and with the writer's general 
treatment of them, with the language, with the shades 
of signification due to the order of words, the use of par- 
ticular tenses, the insertion of emphatic pronouns, and 
so forth, made their comprehension unhesitating, though 
all might not have read precisely the same meaning into 
his words. I hope that I have, at least, where I have 
presumed to differ from a received interpretation, con- 
veyed the sense as it may have been understood by some 
present. Of course, the supplying of the connections 
referred to must be conjectural. Where commentators 
differ from one another, the translator who designs his 
version to be, in one feature, a condensed commentary, 
cannot expect that his views will everywhere be accepted. 
But he can at least hope that to some his version may 
prove suggestive and possibly helpful. 

I might describe it as an attempt, not to present every- 
where the verbal equivalent of what the Apostle said, 
but to convey what he meant. To take one instance 
where Paul has used a metaphor, condensed, or implied 
in the use of a certain word (e.g., 'grow,' 'build,' 
' run '), I have generally expanded it, remembering that 

xii Letters of St. Paul. 

the hearers' thoughts would instinctively fill up the pic- 
ture, familiar to them, evoked by a word whose bare 
lexicon-equivalent has not the same force for us. 

Still, I would deprecate the name of ' paraphrase ' for 
my version, since my aim has been to follow the original 
closely, trying to bring out the full meaning, and even 
suggestion, of each word, deviating only when, to con- 
vey the significance of a passage, some expansion seemed 
advisable ; my object being to do away with the necessity 
for explanatory notes by making the translation suffici- 
ently full to carry its own explanation. However bold 
some of these connective interpolations may seem, they, 
in almost every instance, simply embody an explanation 
or develope a hint given by some commentator of com- 
manding authority. The link of transition consists, in 
most cases, of a very few words, the principal exception 
being at the commencement of chapter ix of i Corinthians, 
where the sequence of the Apostle's argument has been a 
well-known crux of commentators. 

My readers will find several passages printed as 
' Hymns ' far more than have been so treated in any 
previous version. This original feature, which may ap- 
pear to some an unwarrantable liberty to take with the 
text, requires some justification. 

We find in St. Paul's letters various references to 
hymns, references which show that they were in con- 
tinual use, that they were employed to express, and 
even to interchange, devotional sentiments, as where the 
Apostle tells the Ephesian Christians to ' speak to one 
another in psalms, in hymns, in chants inspired by the 
Spirit.' No doubt passages from the Psalms were sung 
by them ; but, besides that these would often seem in- 
adequate to express all that was involved in the New 
Faith, the new purpose, the new life, with its experiences 
and its hopes, we have a distinction indicated above be- 

Preface. xiii 

tween psalms and other forms of Christian song. It is 
by no means certain that the ' psalms ' there referred to 
are the psalms of David. It can hardly be so in i Cor. 
xiv, 26, where the context shows that the composition of 
these psalms (or hymns) was one manifestation of the 
Gifts of the Spirit. Of the three Nativity hymns quoted 
by St. Luke, it is expressly recorded that one, the 
' Benedictus,' was composed under the Spirit's inspira- 
tion. Now Paul himself received the Spirit's gifts in a 
pre-eminent measure : is it not likely, then, that hymns 
of his composition would have been contributed by him 
to the churches he founded or fostered ? Is it not fairly 
probable that examples of Early Christian hymnology 
would have appeared in his letters, that he would have 
quoted from hymns known to his readers ? It has, in- 
deed, long been recognised that certain fragments (as 
' Awake, thou that sleepest,' etc.) are of this character. 
Further, is it not conceivable that occasionally, stirred 
by his theme, he would himself have burst forth into 
hymns inspired by the subject ? Would it not, rather, 
be strange if it were not so ? 

On examining the passages which are here printed as 
hymns, we observe that in almost every instance they 
break the even flow of the argument, or rise with a 
sudden leap above the more or less colloquial style 
which precedes or follows. We note that the interrup- 
tion is not in style only, but in sense ; their matter is 
of a more general, more impersonal nature ; sometimes 
they sum up, as in a rapture, the statements already 
made : conclusions calmly deduced and soberly stated 
are suffused with a sudden glory. And so we are not 
surprised to find that these passages often mark the 
climax of the argument, they recapitulate its results in 
a higher strain. Hence we find that they can sometimes 
be lifted out of the text without leaving a break in its 

xiv Letters of St. Paul. 

continuity. Sometimes they are complete in themselves, 
sometimes suggest the thought that they are quoted from 
a longer hymn. 

If we examine their structure, we are at once im- 
pressed by its rhythmical character, by the antithetical 
balance of clauses, the grouping of words, which recall 
the lyric portions of the Old Testament. 

If we consider their themes, we find them to be what 
we might expect to find in hymns. Sometimes they 
crystallize a creed, as in Colossians i, 13-20 ; they fur- 
nish a ritual-chant, as in i Cor. xi, 23-25 : they set forth 
the profession of a life-purpose, as in n Cor. v, 14-18 : 
they express the Eternal Hope, as in n Cor. iv, 16 v, 10 : 
they anticipate the Second Coming, as in n Thess. i, 
7-10 : they convey mutual encouragement, as in Eph. 
vi, 10-17: but there is no need to make the list ex- 

I think that my readers will concede that almost any 
of these might have been used as hymns in the Early 
Church, that by their tone and style they were eminently 
adapted for such a purpose. There is, of course, nothing 
new in this theory. I have but claimed for it a wider 
and more definite application than before. 

While I have represented under this form all which, 
as it appeared to me, might conceivably have been so 
used, I have not treated as hymns passages which, how- 
ever poetic in sentiment and style, seemed not suited for 
congregational use, such, for example, as Romans viii, 

I have not, in translating these passages, gone out of 
my way to attain a rhythmical cadence, or poetic style, 
my one object, to which everything else has been sub- 
ordinated, having been to furnish a clear, precise, and 
connected sense. 

In one feature of this version I have, not without mis- 

Preface. xv 

givings, departed from the practice of previous trans- 
lators in the substitution of ' Messiah ' for ' Christ.' 
I have done so 

i. Because Christ is to modern readers a proper 
name, non-significant, and so conveying nothing of what 
was implied in Christos. 

2. Because the essence of St. Paul's preaching was 
that the promised Messiah of the Old Testament had 
now come, that he had come for the Gentiles as well as 
for the Jews. This was a continual challenge to the 
Jews, and a continual reminder to the Gentiles that they 
were henceforth heirs to all the blessings of the Old 
Covenant with Abraham, together with all the blessings 
of the New. This is the dominating note throughout 
his writings the fulfilment of prophecy, the consum- 
mation of all the hope and expectation of the Jewish 
race in the person of Jesus. The jealousy excited by 
the announcement that the Jews had no exclusive property 
in the Messiah and his Kingdom is the key to nearly all 
the persecutions to which Paul and his converts were 
subjected. I am aware, of course, that, whereas in the 
Gospels the prefixed article indicates the exact equiva- 
lence of the word ' Christos ' to the title of the Messiah 
of the Old Testament, in the Epistles, on the other hand, 
the absence of the article is evidence that the transition 
of the word from a title to a proper name was at least 
in progress, if not complete. Still, the fact that to every 
Greek-speaking convert the name was significant, ' The 
Anointed,' and that, wherever there were Jews, con- 
verted or unconverted, in the same community, that sig- 
nificance would be emphasized by the stress laid upon 
it, whether in acceptance or opposition, seems to weigh 
in favour of using a term which connects the Old Cove- 
nant with the New, and which tends to bring the modern 
reader nearer to the attitude of the ancient. 


(The dates given are, mainly, those adopted by Conybeare and Howson). 


30. Crucifixion. Gift of the Spirit at Pentecost. 

36. Martyrdom of Stephen. 

37. Conversion of St. Paul. [Caligula succeeds Ti- 


38. From Damascus to Jerusalem, thence to Tarsus. 
39-43. Preaching in Syria and Cilicia. [41. Claudius 

succeeds Caligula.] 

44. Brought from Tarsus to Antioch by Barnabas. 

[Death of Herod Agrippa I.] 

45. Visits Jerusalem with Barnabas. Famine. 
46-47. At Antioch. 

48-49. First Missionary Journey : Antioch to Cyprus, 
Pisidia, Iconium, Lystra, Derbe. Back by 
same route. 

50. Paul and Barnabas at 'Council of Jerusalem.' 

[Caractacus taken to Rome.] 

51. Second Missionary Journey: Antioch to Cilicia, 

Lycaonia, Galatia, Troas, Philippi, Thessa- 
lonica, Bercea, Athens, Corinth. 

52. Writes, at Corinth, FIRST LETTER TO THESSA- 

LONIANS. [Jews expelled from Rome.] 

53. Still at Corinth. SECOND LETTER TO THESSA- 


54. To Jerusalem, thence to Antioch. [Nero succeeds 

Third Missionary Journey to Ephesus. 

xviii Letters of St. Paul. 

55-56. At Ephesus. 

57. Writes, at Ephesus, FIRST LETTER TO CORINTH- 

IANS. The riot in the theatre. From Ephesus 
goes to Macedonia : there writes SECOND 
LETTER TO CORINTHIANS. Goes (winter) to 
Corinth : there writes LETTER TO GALATIANS. 

58. At Corinth. Writes LETTER TO ROMANS. From 

Corinth via Philippi and Miletus to Jerusalem : 
there arrested. 

59. At Ca5sarea. [Nero murders his mother, Agrip- 


60. Sent to Rome by Festus (about August). Ship- 

wrecked (winter). 

','61. Arrives at Rome. [Rebellion of Boadicea in 

62. At Rome. Writes (spring) LETTER TO PHILIP- 

PIANS. Writes (autumn) LETTERS TO COLOS- 

63. Acquitted. Goes (Philippians ii, 24) to Mace- 

donia, and (Philemon, 24) to Asia Minor. 

64. To Spain (?). [Great Fire at Rome, and persecu- 

tion of Christians.] 

65. In Spain (?). 

66. To Macedonia (I Timothy i, 3). [The Jewish 

War begins.] 

67. Writes, from Macedonia, FIRST LETTER TO 

TIMOTHY. Writes (autumn), from Ephesus, 
LETTER TO TITUS. At Nicopolis (winter) : re- 

68. In prison at Rome. Writes SECOND LETTER TO 

TIMOTHY. Executed (May or June). [Death 
of Nero, in middle of June.] 

70. Destruction of Jerusalem by Romans under Titus 



NONE of the letters of St. Paul were written simply to 
maintain kindly relations with the various churches. 
Each of them was evoked by what appeared at the time 
to the Apostle a very pressing need. His objects in 
writing were, broadly, six : 

1. To correct false impressions which were working 
mischief in churches. (I, II Thessalonians). 

2. To reform abuses which threatened to sap the 
morality of a church. (I Corinthians). 

3. To encourage churches which were passing 
through special trials. (Philip plans). 

4. To crush heresies in the germ, especially those 
relating to the person and office of Christ, and the rela- 
tion of the Church to Him. (Colossians, Ephesians). 

5. To combat the machinations of the party of 
Judaism in the church, the emissaries of which con- 
stantly laboured to undo his work in two ways ; by 
insisting that faith in Christ was insufficient for salva- 
tion, without conformity to the ritual of the Mosaic 
Law ; by impugning his authority as an apostle, and 
misrepresenting his character and motives. (Galatians, 
Romans, II Corinthians). 

2 Letters of St. Paul. 

It is to be noted that all his letters to the churches, 
with three exceptions, begin with a pointed reference to 
the fact that he received his commission as an apostle, 
not from any church authorities, but directly from God. 
The exceptions are, the letters to the Thessalonians, 
which were written before his claim was so challenged, 
and that to the Philippians, to whom, presumably, his 
enemies had not yet ventured to malign him. 

6. To strengthen the hands of fellow-labourers, and 
to advise them on matters of church-administration. 
(I, II Timothy, and Titus}. 

The letter to Philemon stands apart : it was dictated 
by humanity and personal affection. 

With respect to the ' persecutions ' frequently referred 
to in these letters, it must be borne in mind that these 
were different, both in source and character, from those 
which we commonly associate with the history of the 
early Christians. They were not set on foot by the 
Roman government : the stake, the cross, the wild 
beasts of the arena, formed no part of them. The 
authors of them were generally, directly or indirectly, 
the Jewish colonies (very populous and ferociously fan- 
atic) in the various towns. Sometimes they took the 
form of mob-violence (how terrible this could be, is 
shewn by Paul's many experiences of it) : sometimes, 
by bribery or intimidation, venal or pusillanimous magis- 
trates might be induced to punish Christians as 
' common disturbers of the peace ' (as happened to 
Paul and Silas) : we find occasional references to 
Christians being made the victims of false accusations : 
in the case of Jewish converts who, as was the case 
with 'myriads' (Acts xxi, 20 a possible hyperbole), 
had not broken with Judaism, and who were still in 
communion with the synagogues, penal discipline might 
be, and probably was, inflicted on slight pretext with 

General Remarks. 3 

ruthless severity, as in the case of Paul, who five times 
received the thirty-nine lashes. But the Roman govern- 
ment itself, so far from instituting persecutions, was 
looked upon (as being the bulwark of law and order) as 
the protector of the church, but for which protection its 
members would have speedily fallen victims to the fanati- 
cal hatred of the Jews, who swarmed in every city 
throughout the empire. Hence Paul very naturally 
cautions believers to be submissive to constituted 
authority, and to pray for its representatives. It was not 
till two years after the last of the letters to the churches 
had been written, that the blame for the great fire of 
Rome was fastened (perhaps by Jewish influences) on 
the Christians, which gave rise to the awful Neronian 



The Persons addressed. The great Macedonian sea- 
port of Thessalonica was visited by Paul and Silas in 
A.D. 51. They spent the first three weeks of their stay 
in appeals to the Jewish residents to accept Jesus as the 
promised Messiah. They gained some adherents among 
the Jews, but many more among the Gentiles. The non- 
believing Jews, in their fierce jealousy at seeing the bles- 
sings of the Chosen People offered to Gentiles, raised a 
furious riot, which was so far successful that Paul had to 
leave the country. The enmity of the Jews being, how- 
ever, directed mainly against his own person, his com- 
panions, Silas and Timotheus, were able to remain at 
Bercea, and foster the young life of the Church. 

The reason why it was written. Next year, when Paul 
was at Corinth, Silas and Timotheus came thither from 
Macedonia, and informed him that the hostility of the 
Jews was continually stirring up persecutions against 
the Church, but that its members were bearing up 
bravely ; that they cherished loving memories of him 
and remained faithful to his teaching. Their minds 
were, however, becoming unsettled, and their daily life 
disorganized, by the growing excitement with which they 

First Letter to the Thessalonians. 5 

anticipated the Second Coming of the Lord. Believing 
it to be imminent, they were beginning to neglect the 
ordinary duties of life, so that the Church was threatened 
with pauperism. On the other hand, they were dis- 
quieted by doubts respecting members of the Church 
who had died since their conversion. Having, ap- 
parently, no clear grasp of the doctrine of the resurrec- 
tion, they feared lest these might be deprived of their 
place among the glorified saints who were to meet the 
Lord at His appearing. 


I. Paul, and Silvanus, and Timotheus 

to the Church of Thessalonians 

which is in union with God the Father, and with our 
Lord Jesus, the Messiah 

Grace be to you, and heart-peace. 

I am ever rendering thanks to God on behalf of all of 
you, for I make mention of you always in my prayers. I 
unceasingly call to mind your work inspired by faith, 
your toil born of love, your strong endurance which leans 
on the hope that waits for the Coming of our Lord, Jesus 
the Messiah, waits as in the very presence of God our 
Father. For I know, O brothers mine, beloved of God, 
how you were chosen out of the world. I know that the 
Glad-tidings I brought were not limited to the mere 
declaration of the message, but were attended with evi- 
dence of miraculous power, with the gifts of the Holy 
Spirit, and with ample assurance of success. And you 
know what sort of man you found me to be, as I laboured 

6 Letters of St. Paul. i, 6 ii, 6. 

for your sake, when I was among you. You, also, took 
my Lord and me for your examples, when you received 
that message, with all the affliction it entailed on you 
ay, and the joy, inspired by the Holy Spirit, that came 
with it. And so you became the model church for all 
the believers of Macedonia and Achaia. From you 
pealed forth the trumpet-call of that' message of our 
Lord ; and not through Macedonia and Achaia only, but 
in every land have gone abroad the tidings of your faith 
that looks to God no need is there for me to tell them 
of you ! They are themselves spreading the story of my 
mission, are telling how I was received among you, are 
telling how you turned to God from your idols, turned to 
serve God a living, a true God turned to await the 
Great Coming of His Son from the heavens, the Son 
whom He raised from the dead Jesus, who is our De- 
liverer from the Wrath that is drawing ever nearer. 

II. Yes, you know, without my reminding you, my 
brothers, the story of my mission to you : you know that 
it was not barren of results. I had suffered ere then : I 
had been brutally treated, as you know, in Philippi : yet, 
in the strength of our God, I spoke out unfalteringly to 
you, amid storm and stress, the Glad-tidings of God. 
Ay, and my appeal to you was based on no delusion : it 
was not prompted by immoral motives, nor by a 
schemer's guile. No! God had tested me ere He en- 
trusted me with His Glad-tidings ; and by that right do 
I speak. I aim not at giving satisfaction to men, but to 
God who tests the hearts of us all. Never did I stoop 
to flattery you know I did not : never did I cloak 
with specious professions my own personal ambitions 
God is my witness ! Never did I covet honour from 
men, neither from you nor from others ; and yet, as 
Messiah's apostle, I might have assumed airs of 
authority. Ah no ! but I was unassuming like one of 

ii, 7 16. First Letter to the Thessalonians. 7 

yourselves. I was like the mother that lovingly nurses 
her own children. Yearning thus over you, 1 gave you 
with a glad heart I gave you a share not only in the 
Good-news of God, but of my very life and soul too so 
passing dear to me had you grown ! Ah yes, you 
remember, brothers mine, my toil and my travail. By 
night, by day, did I ply my handicraft, determined to 
burden none of you with my maintenance, while I 
heralded forth to you the Glad-tidings of God. You, 
you can witness for me ay, and God is my witness 
how unworldly, how unselfish, how irreproachable I 
proved myself in my relations to you who have embraced 
the Faith. You know, O you know, how with each of 
you, one by one, as a father with his own children, I 
pleaded, how I encouraged you, how I adjured you, to 
live lives worthy of that God who was calling you, is 
calling you still, to enter His Kingdom, to pass into the 
glory of His Presence. 

For this reason I, like yourselves, am unceasingly 
giving thanks to God, because, when you received the 
message of God that you heard from me, you accepted it 
as no message of men, but as it in very truth is a 
message of God, the message that is still a soul-thrilling 
power in you who believe. Yes, you, brothers mine, 
followed the example of the Churches of God which are 
in union with Messiah Jesus in Judasa. You followed it 
in enduring the same sufferings from your own country- 
men, as they did from the Jews. The Jews ! they 
murdered the Lord, murdered Jesus, murdered his pro- 
phets before him : they have hounded us, his apostles, 
from city to city : they are kindling God's displeasure ; 
they are the enemies of all the human race their en- 
emies, in that they fain would hinder me from so speaking 
to the Gentiles that they may be saved ! In all this they 
are steadily filling up the measure of their own sins. 

8 Letters of St. Paul. ii, 16 iii, 5. 

But God's wrath has overtaken them : it is the begin- 
ning of the end. 1 

But I, my brothers, after suffering the pangs of 
bereavement in severance from you for a while, for just 
a little while a severance from the sight of your faces, 
not, oh not from your hearts ! have been impatient, 
more than impatient, with passionate yearning, to look 
upon your faces. And so I yes, I Paul made up my 
mind once and again to visit you : what blocked my 
path was none other than Satan. Well might I wish to 
see you. What hope cheers me ? what joy thrills me ? 
what will be my victor's wreath of exultant triumph ? 
What, save you, when you and I stand in the presence 
of our Lord Jesus in the Day of His Appearing ? Ah 
yes, it is you that are my pride, you my joy ! 

III. So, when the strain of suspense grew intolerable, 
I determined to submit to being left at Athens alone ; 
and I sent Timotheus my brother, who is God's servant 
in spreading the Glad-tidings of Messiah. I sent him to 
strengthen you, and to exhort you to adhere to your 
faith, that none of you might be unnerved when encom- 
passed by the afflictions I have referred to ; for I need 
not tell you that these are a necessity of our position. In- 
deed, when I was with you, I used to forewarn you that 
to be afflicted is our destiny. That has come to pass, 
and you know it by experience. Accordingly, when I 
could no longer endure the suspense, I sent to learn how 
your faith stood the test ; for I dreaded to hear that, in 
consequence of the tempter's assaults on you, my past 
toil had proved fruitless. But now that Timotheus 

i. The news of the expulsion of the Jews from Rome, owing to 
their turbulence, would have just reached Paul. Their rebellious 
disaffection in Palestine went on increasing with the years, till, 
fourteen years later, the war began which ended in the destruction 
of Jerusalem. 

Hi, 6 iv, 4. First Letter to the Thessalonians. g 

has just returned to me from you, and brought me the 
glad news of the steadfastness of your faith, of the 
glow of your love, has told me that you still cherish a 
kindly remembrance of me, that you long to see me, just 
as I long to see you ah, now, brothers mine, I have, 
through your faith, been filled with comfort in the 
thought of you, a comfort which rises triumphant above 
all my privation, all my affliction. Yes, this to me is 
very life, the consciousness that you stand firm in union 
with our Lord. With what thanks can I pay my debt to 
God on your behalf, my debt for all the joy that thrills 
me for you, now when I feel the very presence of our 
God ? Night and day am I praying with passionate 
earnestness that I may see your faces, that I may fully 
supply all deficiencies in your faith. May God Himself, 
our own Father, may our Lord Jesus, helm straight my 
course, home again to you ! And you may the Lord fill 
you more and more ay, till you overflow with love to 
one another and to all men, even as my heart is full of 
love toward you ! And so may He firmly root your 
hearts in holiness, till they are irreproachable holiness 
such as shall bear the very scrutiny of God our Father, 
in that day when our Lord Jesus shall come down at- 
tended by all His Holy Ones ! 

IV. I have yet to add this, my brothers I beg you, I 
appeal to you by your love for our Lord Jesus, that, 
according to the directions you received from me as to 
the ordering of your lives so as to win God's approval 
as, indeed, you are doing you would try to attain to 
yet fuller perfection. I need not remind you : you know 
what precepts I gave you by the inspiration of the Lord 
Jesus. God's purpose, in fact, is this, that yours be a 
consecrated life : to particularize that you shrink away 
from licentiousness ; that each of you learn to gain con- 
trol over his own body, as a consecrated and honourable 

io Letters of St. Paul. iv, 5 15. 

thing, not in subjection to lustful passion, like those 
Gentiles who know not God ; that you do not, in this 
matter, trespass on a brother's rights, nor overreach him. 
The Lord is the avenger of all such sins, as indeed I 
forewarned you, when I uttered my solemn protest 
against them. For the life to which God has called us 
is no life of pollution : it is a life of consecration. There- 
fore, whoever sets at nought these warnings is setting at 
nought, not man, but God, that very God who is bestow- 
ing His Holy Spirit on you. 

As to the necessity of love for your fellow-believers, 
there is no need for me to write to impress that on you. 
You yourselves have been taught by God to love one 
another. You are, in fact, already displaying that love 
towards all your brother-believers through the length 
and breadth of Macedonia. So I do but exhort you, my 
brothers, to rise to higher heights still. I urge you also 
to make it a point of honour to avoid religious excitement, 
to go on performing your personal duties, and to earn 
your bread by the labour of your hands (as I have 
already charged you) that so you may be, in the eyes of 
the non-Christian world, respectable members of society, 
and also may not be pauperized. 

And, in this connection, I wish you to have no false 
conceptions, my brothers, of the lot of those who are 
now sleeping in death : you must not grieve for them as 
the heathen do, who have no hope. If we really believe 
that Jesus not only died, but has risen, we must, by 
inference, believe that those too who have, through Jesus' 
power, been hushed to sleep, will God draw heavenward 
in Jesus' train. Yes, this I tell you, as a revelation from 
God, that we who may be surviving up to the Day of 
the Coming of the Lord shall most certainly not enter 
into His presence before those who have fallen asleep. 

iv, 16 v, 7. First Letter to the Thessalonians. n 

The Lord Himself, with a reveille-call, 
of tlje With the shout of an archangel, 
*ccon& And with the clarion of God, 
Comutjj. Shall descend from heaven. [to rise ; 

Then the dead who are in Messiah's keeping shall be first 

Then we, the living yet left on earth, 
Shall be with them caught away amidst clouds 
Into the sky, to that meeting with our Lord ; 
And so for evermore with the Lord shall we be. 

With this assurance, therefore, comfort one another. 

V. But, on the question of the time, the precise date, 
of the Coming, my brothers, it is not necessary for you 
to be informed in my letter. You yourselves know per- 
fectly well that 

The Day of the Lord, as comes a robber in the 
of t\)t night, so cometh. 

Sag When men are saying, ' All is peace and 
of tfje safety ! ' 

Hortf. Then on a sudden destruction looms over them, 
As the birth-pang of a travailing woman : 
There shall be no escape for them none ! 

But you, my brothers, are not gropers in darkness, 
that the Day should, like a robber, take you unawares. 
No, all of you are sons of light, sons of day 

Not of the night are we, nor of the gloom ! 
of tije Oh, then, let us not sleep, as do other men ; 
CHatdjertf. But let us keep vigil and be sober. 

For they that slumber, by night they slumber ; 

12 Letters of St. Paul. v, 7 19. 

And they that are drunken, by night are they 

drunken : 

But we who are of the day, let us be sober, 
Having arrayed us in corslet of faith and love, 
And, for our helmet, in the hope of salvation ; 
Because God appointed us not to be victims of 

His wrath, 

But to the winning of salvation, 
Through our Lord, Jesus the Messiah, 

Who died for us, to this end, 
That, whether in life we yet keep vigil, or 

sleep in death, 
Sharing His life we may live. 

Then still comfort one another, still build each other 
up into His temple, as I know you are doing already. 

Now I beg you, my brothers, to appreciate those who 
are toiling amongst you, who are your leaders in the 
Lord's work, and who give you admonition. Accord 
them a high place the highest of all in your love, in 
recognition of their services. 

Live at peace with each other. 

Once more I beseech you, brothers, admonish those 
who will not conform to discipline, encourage the sinking 
hearts, reach a helping hand to the weak ; be forbearing 
with all. See to it that none of you requite wrong with 
wrong, but at all times aim at showing kindness to one 
another, and, indeed, to all men. 

Be evermore glad-hearted : pray unweariedly : find 
something to thank God for in all things ; for this is the 
purpose of God with respect to you, as shown in Messiah 
Jesus' coming. 

In your church-gatherings do not repress manifesta- 
tions of the Spirit's gifts; do not treat slightingly in- 

v, 2O 28. First Letter to the Thessalonians. 13 

spired preaching. 1 Nay, rather test all such utterances, 
and adopt what is really good. 

Shrink away from evil, in whatever form it appears. 

Now may God Himself, the author of peace, hallow 
you in all your powers. May your immortal spirit, your 
mortal nature, your very body, be preserved unimpaired, 
so as to be found flawless in the Day of the Coming of 
our Lord. Faithful is He who is calling you to Himself : 
He will so hallow you, so keep you. 

Brothers mine, pray on for me ! 

Greet all the members of the Church with the kiss of 

I solemnly charge you, in the Lord's name, to have 
this letter read to all the members of the Church. 

The grace of our Lord, of Jesus the Messiah, be with 

i. Of the Gifts of the Spirit, there were two, the exercise of 
which might, if unregulated, destroy the decorous order of church- 
gatherings the gift of ' tongues,' and that of the inspired rhapsody 
of the ' prophets.' To what disorders they might lead, if unchecked, 
we shall see in the Letter to the church at Corinth. There the 
members, like the rest of the population, were deficient in the sense 
of discipline, and the leaders were weak and temporising. But in 
Thessalonica the native stock was of manlier fibre, and there was a 
stronger leaven of the Roman element, with its deep-rooted instincts 
of law and order. Hence, while at Corinth there was a tendency to 
undue laxity, at Thessalonica it would seem that the general feeling 
of the church was in favour of what St. Paul considered undue 
repression of these indications of the Spirit's presence. 



The reason why it was written. St. Paul's first letter, 
though it seems to have quieted fears as to the exclusion 
of departed friends from a share in the Second Coming, 
had not been sufficiently definite to allay the feverish 
excitement created by the expectation that the Great Day 
was imminent, and might come with the next day's dawn. 
People could not settle down to their daily duties and 
vocations ; and the situation was aggravated by prophetic 
revelations which some claimed to have received, and by 
the rumour that a letter had arrived from the apostle (it 
would seem indeed that a spurious one was being handed 
about) supporting the extremest views ; hence, socially 
and spiritually, the Christian community was becoming 
more and more disorganized. 

The apostle's main object in this second letter was to 
put an end, once and for all, to these misapprehensions 
by an emphatic declaration that, before that Day 
dawned, certain other unmistakable events, the develop- 
ment of which had as yet not even begun, must run their 

Who was the ' Man of Sin ' referred to in the letter, 
what was the ' power that holds him in check ' (the 
reference was quite intelligible to Paul's readers), is, for 
us, matter of pure conjecture. 

Second Letter to the Thessalonians. 15 


I. Paul, and Silvanus, and Timotheus 

to the Church of the Thessalonians in the keep- 
ing of God our Father and of our Lord Jesus the Messiah : 
Grace be to you, and heart-peace, sent forth from 
God the Father, and from our Lord, Jesus the Messiah. 

I feel I am bound to thank God hourly on your 
account, my brothers I have indeed every reason for 
doing so because your faith is growing ever higher, 
because your love is overflowing towards each other, ay, 
the love of every one of you. Hence I myself am ever 
finding something in you to boast of among the churches 
of God. I exult in your unflinching endurance, your faith 
amid all your persecutions, all the afflictions that you 
endure. These you are to regard as a token of the just 
decision of God, of His purpose that you be adjudged 
worthy of a place in the Kingdom of God, in the cause 
of which you are now suffering. ' His just decision,' I 
said as it is, if it be justice on God's part to requite 
with affliction those who are afflicting you, and to reward 
you, who are now enduring affliction, with rest, in com- 
pany with us, your fellow-sufferers. And so shall it be 
in that Day when 

J&gmn The cleaving heavens shall disclose the Lord 
of ttjr Jesus 

$f tariQ Attended by the angel-ministers of His power, 
Coming. Encircled with glowing flame, 

In act to wreak vengeance on those heathen who 

ignore God, 

On those Jews who refuse obedience to the 
Of our Lord Jesus. 

16 Letters of St. Paul. i, 9 ii, 3. 

Such men shall reap for retribution 
Irrevocable destruction that bans them the 

presence of the Lord, 
That glorious vision of His might that shall be 

When He descends to be encompassed with 


The glory-host of His Holy Ones, 
Comes to be the World's Wonder, 
Haloed about by all that have believed on Him, 
In that Day. 

And you will be there, because my testimony to you 
was believed. 

Looking forward to that consummation, I am also 
praying, praying hourly for you. I pray that God may 
count you worthy of the heritage to which He has called 
you. I pray that He may in His might fulfil to the 
uttermost your eager aspirations to goodness, and perfect 
your work which faith inspires. So shall the name of 
our Lord, of Jesus the Messiah, be crowned with glory 
in your lives. So shall you be crowned with glory by 
union with Him, in pursuance of the gracious purpose 
of our God, and of our Lord Jesus. 

II. Now I beg you, my brothers with respect to 
this Coming of our Lord Jesus the Messiah, and our 
own gathering to meet Him not to drift storm-tossed 
from your mental moorings, not to give way to hysterical 
excitement (whether it be through some pretended 
'revelation of the Spirit,' or through some message or 
letter purporting to come from me) under the impression 
that the ' Day of the Lord ' is imminent. Let no one, by 
any artifice, deceive you. That Day will not dawn till 
first there have come two things the Revolt from the 

ii, 3 14. Second Letter to the Thessalonians. 17 

Faith, and the revelation of the Man of Sin, the Son of 
Perdition, who opposes himself to, and exalts himself 
above, every being that bears the name of God, in fact, 
above every object of worship, going so far as to throne 
himself in the temple of God, parading himself as the very 
Deity. Have you forgotten that, while I was still among 
you, I kept telling you this ? And now you know what it 
is that holds him in check, postponing his revelation till 
the date appointed for him. But come he will, for the 
veiled tendency of wickedness is already stirring the 
world. Only, the power that holds all in check will 
continue to operate till it be swept from the path then, 
then shall be revealed that Lawless One. But him will 
the Lord Jesus blast with the breath of His mouth, will 
annihilate him with the splendour of His appearing. 
Again, a distinctive feature of that Lawless One's ap- 
pearance shall be a special exertion of Satan's influence, 
attended with all his power, with signs, with delusive 
marvels, and with every conceivable deception of wicked- 
ness which victimizes those who are in the path that 
leads to ruin, who are there because they first rejected 
all desire for the truth, and so barred their own way to 
salvation. In retribution for this, God is now sending 
on them an impulse to infatuation, leading them to credit 
that lie of the divinity of the Man of Sin, in order that 
all may be judged who have not only refused obedience 
to the truth, but have actually gloated over iniquity. 

On the other hand, I feel bound, O my brothers whom 
our Lord has loved, to thank God hourly on your ac- 
count, to thank God because He chose you, even from 
the beginning, for salvation wrought by the Spirit's 
hallowing power, and by the exercise of faith in the 
truth. To this state did God call you by the Glad- 
tidings I proclaimed, that you might gain for your own 
a share in the glory of our Lord, of Jesus the Messiah. 

i8 Letters of St. Paul. ii, 15 iii, 10. 

So then, brothers, still stand firm : hold fast the in- 
structions impressed on you, whether in addresses of 
mine, or in my letter. May our Lord Himself, Jesus 
the Messiah, may God our Father, who loved us, who 
has by His grace bestowed ever-present consolation 
and a blessed hope, comfort your hearts, and keep you 
unswerving in perfect rectitude alike of action and of 

III. One word more: pray, pray on, brothers mine, 
for me. Pray that the Message of the Lord may speed 
untrammelled, that its glory may be recognised every- 
where, as it was when it came to you. Pray that we 
may be delivered from wrong-headed and mischievous 
men : there are some, in fact, to whom faith seems im- 
possible. But faithful is our Lord ; and he will set you 
on a firm foundation ; he will guard you from the Evil 
One. By my trust in the Lord I rest assured, with 
respect to you, that you are carrying out, and will con- 
tinue to carry out, the precepts I am giving you. And 
may our Lord pilot your hearts into the haven of the 
love of God, into such calm patience as was Messiah's ! 

Once more, I charge you, brothers, in the name of our 
Lord Jesus the Messiah, to hold aloof from all members 
of the Church who persist in defying discipline, who will 
not conform to the instructions they received from me. 
There is no excuse for it : you know the lines on which 
it is your duty to follow my example. I did not, when 
I was among you, set myself above discipline. I did 
not eat my bread at any other man's expense, without 
working for it. No, with toil and travail, night and day 
I plied my handicraft, on purpose not to saddle any one 
of you with my maintenance. Not that I have not a 
right to claim maintenance ; but I acted so, to set an 
example for your imitation. For, when I was among 
you, I used to impress this rule on you, ' If any 

iii, 10 18. Second Letter to the Thessalonians. 19 

man be not willing to work, let him not eat either.' The 
caution is not superfluous : I still hear that there are 
some among you who set discipline at nought not busy 
men they, but busybodies ! I charge such characters, I 
appeal to them by the authority of our Lord Jesus the 
Messiah, to work quietly, and to eat the bread of their 
own earning. As for you, my brothers, do not grow 
weary of doing right. If any one persists in refusing 
obedience to my injunctions, as conveyed in my letter, 
set a stigma on that man : hold no intercourse with him, 
that he may be shamed into submission. Still, you are 
not to count him as a personal enemy : simply remon- 
strate with him, as being a brother still. 

And may the Lord Himself, the author of peace, be- 
stow on you peace, always, under all conditions. The 
Lord be with you all. 

Now, in my own handwriting, I add the salutation : 

The grace of our Lord Jesus the Messiah be with 
all of you. Paul. 

The above is the token of genuineness in every letter : 
it, and no other, is my own signature. 



The Persons addressed. During his stay of about two 
years (51 52 A.D.) at Corinth, St. Paul gained some 
Jewish converts, and many more from the ranks of the 
Gentile population, of which, beside the native Greeks, 
a large number were Italian freedmen. The members of 
the church were drawn mostly from the lower orders of 
society. At some time during his subsequent stay at 
Ephesus, the apostle wrote to the Corinthian church a 
letter (now lost), in which he spoke of his intention to 
visit them, urged on them the duty of contributing to 
the relief of the pauperized church at Jerusalem, and 
emphatically cautioned them against practising or coun- 
tenancing immorality. In time there came a reply from 
Corinth, the bearers of which horrified Paul by the 
account they gave him of disorders which had sprung 
up during his four years' absence. The church was 
split up into religious factions : the uncontrolled exercise 
of the gifts of the Spirit, especially of the gift of 
' tongues,' made their gatherings scenes of confusion 
and uproar : the Eucharistic meetings were profaned by 
selfish gluttony and drunkenness : women outraged public 
opinion by addressing mixed meetings unveiled : members 

First Letter to the Corinthians. 21 

of the church defrauded one another in business, and 
carried their disputes before heathen tribunals : some 
were relapsing into their old heathen practices of im- 
morality, which they justified by pleading their Christian 
liberty ( ' all things are permissible for me ' was their 
watchword) : and, worst of all, a glaring case of incest 
was condoned by the leaders of opinion in the church. 
To these abuses the letter itself made no reference ; in- 
deed, the general tone of it was one of entire self-satisfac- 
tion. It began with the assurance that they ' remem- 
bered him in all things, and were observing the rules he 
had laid down for their guidance.' It went on to say 
that, while they all possessed the Spirit's gift of inward 
' illumination,' 1 there were yet differences of opinion 
among them with respect to points of conscience and 
matters of procedure, on which they would like to have 
an expression of his views, viz. : 

1. Were married relations quite consistent with utter 
Christian purity ? 

2. Should marriages or re-marriages be discouraged ? 

3. Was divorce, or re-marriage after divorce, allow- 
able for believers ? 

4. Might believers be divorced from unbelievers ? 

5. Was virginity nobler than marriage, and, if so, 
should parents keep their daughters unwedded ? 

6. Might food which had been consecrated to idols 
(a small portion of which would be actually sacrificed, 
the rest being at the disposal of the priests) be eaten by 
Christians? Much of this was sold by the temple- 
officials to the meat-dealers, and, as sacrificed beasts had 
to be free from blemish, it might well be the best meat 
in the market. Moreover, there were, at festivals, great 

i. The word translated 'knowledge 'in the A. V. But it is spoken 
of (ch. xii) as one of the gifts of the Spirit, and so would seem to 
mean spiritual enlightenment, or intuitive perception of the truth. 

22 Letters of St. Paul. 

gratuitous banquets in the temple-precincts, which were 
a real boon to the poor : might not the Christians (many 
of whom were very poor) avail themselves of these, 
since they would do so, not as participating in idol-wor- 
ship, but simply to satisfy hunger ? The Gentile converts 
saw no harm in it : but the conscientious scruples of 
the Jewish converts were revolted at the bare idea. 

7. The Jewish (and Roman) custom was to worship 
with covered heads, the Greek with uncovered : which 
was the proper one for Christians ? 

8. What was the relative excellence of the ' Gifts of 
the Spirit,' as involving the precedence to be given to 
their exercise at church-gatherings ? The writers were 
inclined to give the first place to the ' Gift of Tongues.' 

9. Might women address their public meetings ? 

10. How were the doubts and difficulties which sur- 
rounded the doctrine of the Resurrection of the Body to 
be met ? 

11. What system would he recommend for raising 
and forwarding the alms-fund ? 

The apostle, in his answer, deals first with the dis- 
orders and immoralities which threatened to shipwreck 
the cause at Corinth, one-third of his letter being occu- 
pied with these, before he touches on the questions pro- 
pounded to him. 


I. Paul summoned by God's will to be an apostle of 
Jesus the Messiah and Sosthenes the brother, send 

to the church of God that is in Corinth, to the 
people consecrated by union with Messiah Jesus, called 
to be His hallowed ones even to them, and to all who 

i, 2 13. First Letter to the Corinthians. 23 

call upon the name of our Lord Jesus the Messiah in 
every place their Lord no less than ours : 

Grace and heart-peace descend on you from the 
presence of God our Father, and from our Lord, Jesus 
the Messiah. 

I give thanks to my God I am ever thanking Him on 
your account, when I think of the grace of God that He 
bestowed on you by your union with Messiah Jesus. I 
thank Him that you have been made so rich by your life 
in him. You have been endowed with a wealth of in- 
spired utterance, with a wealth of spiritual illumination, 
which is in itself conclusive evidence of the truth of my 
testimony concerning the Messiah. Hence you lag be- 
hind other churches in no divine gift, while you wait and 
watch to see the cleaving heavens reveal our Lord Jesus 
the Messiah. He it is who shall keep you steadfast until 
that final consummation, so that none shall dare arraign 
you in the Great Day of our Lord Jesus the Messiah. 
True to His promise is God, He whose voice bade you 
enter into co-heirship with His Son, Jesus the Messiah, 
our Lord. 

Since, then, you are in union with Him, I entreat 
you, my brothers, by the dear name of our Lord Jesus 
the Messiah, to be unanimous in the profession of your 
faith. Let there be no divisions among you : let unity- 
be restored in purpose and in creed. This warning 
is not superfluous : I have been informed, my brothers, 
by members of Chloe's household, that there are 
factions among you. What I mean is this you have 
adopted party-cries. One says, ' I am a partisan of 
Paul' another, ' I of Apollos ' another, ' I of Kephas' 
another, ' I of the Messiah.' What, has Messiah 
been parted into fragments ? Paul was he crucified 
for you ? Did you, at your baptism, pledge yourselves 

24 Letters of St. Paul. i, 13 24. 

to follow Paul ? Not one of you did I baptize I thank 
God now for that except Crispus and Gaius. I may 
well thank Him, since now no one can say that in 
baptism you pledged yourselves to follow me ! yes, I did 
baptize also the household of Stephanas : besides these, I 
have no recollection of having baptized any one. It was, 
in fact, not to baptize that Messiah sent me forth on my 
mission, but to proclaim His Glad-tidings. That mes- 
sage, too, I declared unadorned with philosophic elo- 
quence : I had no mind to refine away the special signifi- 
cance of ' The Cross of the Messiah.' 

The Story of the Cross, in fact, is, in the eyes of those 
who are on the way to destruction, an absurdity : but in 
ours, since we are in the path of salvation, it is the mani- 
festation of the power of God. Those who are ' on the 
way to destruction ' include human philosophies : it stands 


BRING INTO CONTEMPT.' (Is. 29, 14). What, in God's 
sight, is the Greek philosopher ? What is the Jewish 
rabbi ? What is the learned disputant of this our day ? 
Has not God treated with the neglect due to its mere 
folly the philosophy of the world ? When the world 
of intellect, with all its philosophy, had failed, baffled by 
God's wisdom, to attain to a true conception of God, 
then it was God's good pleasure to deliver those who now 
believe how ? By a proclamation which that world re- 
gards as utterly unphilosophical. It is distasteful to both 
classes ; since the Jews persistently demand ' signs from 
heaven ' ; the Greeks are ever seeking for a ' philosophi- 
cal theory of Ethics ' ; but we apostles come preaching 
a ' Messiah who has been crucified ' a conception from 
which Jews recoil with horror, and which seems to 
Greeks utterly unphilosophical. But to us who have heard 
God's call, Jews and Greeks alike, this Messiah em- 

i, 24 ii, 5. First Letter to the Corinthians. 25 

bodies God's power (so meeting the Jews' craving for 
miracles), and God's wisdom (so meeting the Greeks' 
desire for philosophy). What seems to the latter un- 
wisdom in God's design transcends all human wisdom ; 
what seems to the former impotence in God's execution 
transcends all human might. Mark, my brothers, by 
what instruments God called you. Very few of the wise 
wise with human wisdom very few of the mighty, of 
the high-born few, have been bearers of the Call. Nay, 
God chose out the unwisdom of the world, that its 
success in regenerating humanity might put to shame the 
philosophies which had failed in the task : the strength- 
less ones of the world God chose out, that their success 
might put to shame the strong rulers who had failed. 
The lowly-born of the world, the things contemned, 
God chose them out ay, and agencies whose very 
existence was unsuspected, that by their success he 
might show the futility of existing systems, that no 
human agency might, in the presence of God, boast of 
success. And so, not from man, but from God do you 
draw your life in Messiah Jesus in Jesus who became 
for us God-given wisdom, our righteousness, our conse- 
cration, our ransom ! So for us is fulfilled that Scripture, 


II. I too, when I came to you, brothers, came with 
no transcendent eloquence or philosophy, as I proclaimed 
to you the mystic secret of God. I determined to make 
no display of knowledge before you, except of the 
Messiah and of Him only as a crucified Messiah. 
Arrayed in no oratorical dignity did I appear to you, but 
in bodily weakness, in timidity I fairly trembled with 
nervousness. My address, my proclamation, was not 
conveyed in plausible philosophic eloquence : no, it con- 
sisted in a flashing forth of the Spirit's energy, of the 
power of God. This was intentional, in order that your 

26 Letters of St. Paul. ii, 5 14. 

faith might rest, not on human philosophy, but on the 
power of God. 

And yet for an audience of men of ripe understanding 
I have a higher teaching, a divine philosophy. 1 But it is 
not a philosophy which this world will recognise as such, 
no, nor the rulers of this world, who are on the point of 
passing into nothingness. No, what I utter is the wis- 
dom of God, embodied in the Mystic Secret which has 
so long been hidden from view, yet which God designed, 
ages and ages ago, to lift us into the glory of His pre- 
sence. Not one of the rulers of this world recognised it. 
Had they done so, never would they have crucified the 
Lord of Glory. No marvel that they missed it, for to 
this revelation apply these words, ' THINGS NO EYE HATH 




HIM.' (Is. 64, 4). Yet to us did God unveil them by 
the agency of His Spirit. Yes, the Spirit can explore all 
things, even the abysmal depths of God's designs. Even 
man is inscrutable to his fellow-man : only the spirit that 
dwells in him knows his secrets. Even so the secrets of 
God none hath discerned save the Spirit of God. Well, 
we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the 
spirit that is an effluence from God, given to us in order 
that we may appreciate the gifts lavished on us by God. 
Yes, it is of these high themes that I then discourse, not 
in the rhetoric of the schools, in terms of human philo- 
sophy ; but in terms learnt in the Spirit's school do I 
embody spiritual conceptions in spiritual language. 
Now, the unspiritual man cannot grasp the revelations 
of the Spirit of God. They are for him meaningless : he 
cannot comprehend them : they require the spiritual 

i. Such as he unfolds in the letter to the Ephesians. 

ii, 14 iii, 10. First Letter to the Corinthians. 27 

attitude for their appreciation. But the spiritual man 
can appreciate them all : yet of the truth of his con- 
victions no unspiritual man can judge. He has pierced 
the veil of the Divine, so that the challenge of Scripture 

THAT HE SHOULD BE GUIDE TO HlM ? ' (/S. 40, 13]. We, 

I answer, do hold the secret of Messiah's heart. 

III. Ah but, my brothers, I found it impossible, when 
I was with you, to talk to you as spiritual men. I had to 
address you as those in whom the fleshly nature pre- 
dominated, in fact, as mere infants in the New Life in 
the Messiah. I had to rear you on milk, not on solid 
food, which indeed you could not have assimilated nor 
can you now, for that matter, since you are unspiritual 
still. So long as jealousy and faction are rife among 
you, are you not unspiritual ? are you not living lives 
far from divine ? So long as one of you persists in saying 
' I am a partisan of Paul,' and another, ' I am of Apollos' 
party,' are you not very human ? Why, what is Apol- 
los ? what is Paul ? They are but stewards through 
whose hands was dispensed the gift of your faith, each of 
them doing but the work that God assigned to him. My 
part was to plant the slip, that of Apollos to water it ; 
but it was God who all the time was making it grow. 
The planter is nought, the waterer is nought : God, 
who makes it grow, is everything. Besides, both planter 
and waterer, so far from being rivals, are in this case one 
in aim. Each of them shall receive his special wage, 
according to the special work he has done. We, in fact, 
are fellow-labourers with God : you are God's tilth-land ; 
or, to change the figure, you are God's building. Di- 
rected by the grace of God, which was bestowed upon 
me, I, like some skilful master-builder, laid the found- 
ation : another is now carrying on the structure. But 
let each man take heed how he does carry on this 

28 Letters of St. Paul. iii, 10 23. 

structure. As to the foundation, no one is empowered 
to lay any other than that which has been laid once for 
all, that is, the Messiahship of Jesus. Now, if a man 
proceeds to rear upon that foundation a structure of 
gold, silver, and costly marbles, or one of wood, having 
its gaps stopped with hay, and thatched with straw the 
character of each man's work will have to be clearly 
shown. The Great Day shall make it plain ; and the 
revealing agent is fire. Yes, what is the true quality of 
each man's work, that fire nothing less shall test. If 
any man's structure, which he has reared on the aforesaid 
foundation, stands the test, he shall receive his work's 
wage. If any one's structure shall be burnt to the ground, 
he shall thus forfeit his life's work, though he himself 
shall be rescued, yet only as one who is dragged out 
through the flames of a burning house. Do you not 
understand that your church is God's temple, that God's 
Spirit has His home in your midst ? If any one makes a 
ruin of God's temple, God will make him a ruin ; for 
God's temple is hallowed, and hallowed therefore are 
you. Ay, and it may be ruined by these follies of yours. 
Let no one delude himself: if any one among you 
imagines himself versed in this world's philosophy, let 
him begin by recognising himself as the fool that he is, 
as the first step to the attainment of true wisdom. The 
wisdom of this world, in short, is folly in God's sight. 
To this refers that Scripture, ' HE WHO ENTRAPPETH THE 
WISE IN THEIR OWN CUNNING ' (Job 5, 13} ; and that other, 
HOW VAIN THEY ARE.' Ps. 94. 11). Therefore, let no 
one pride himself on having this or that human leader. 
Why, all things are yours Paul, Apollos, Kephas, the 
world, life, death, the immediate present, the far future 
all are your heritage : but you you belong to no human 
leader : you are Messiah's ; and Messiah is God's. 

iv, I g. First Letter to the Corinthians. 29 

IV. The only right estimate of Apollos, myself, and 
the rest, is that we are but servants of the Messiah, 
stewards of the mystic secrets of God. Here on earth, 
I grant you, the conduct of stewards is scrutinized at the 
audits, to prove each one's fidelity to his trust. But, as 
to my being called to account by you, or at any human 
bar, that is a matter of perfect indifference to me. Not 
that I constitute myself my own judge. I am not con- 
scious of any dereliction of duty, it is true : still, I do not 
on that account claim to be exonerated of blame. But 
I do say that the only one who has a right to judge me 
is the Lord. Therefore do not risk any premature judg- 
ment, ere the Coming of the Lord. He shall flash light 
upon the secrets now shrouded in darkness : he shall lay 
bare the purposes of men's hearts ; and then shall the 
due praise be awarded to each of us from God. 

These figures of the labourer, the builder my 
brothers, I have, to make my point clear to you, applied 
to myself and to Apollos, in order that you may learn 
not to assume a rivalry between us for which you can 
produce no written authority, and may not be inflated 
with the self-conceit of partisanship for one of us as 
against the other. For I challenge any faction-leader 
who allows you any superiority ? What gift or grace do 
you possess which you did not first receive ? If you did 
but receive it, why pride yourself as on something for 
which you are indebted to no one ? O, now you Corinth- 
ians are like sated guests at a feast ? now you have 
grown rich now have become kings in the Kingdom of 
Heaven, and are quite independent of me ! Ah, would 
that you had really gained your thrones in the Kingdom, 
that I too might share your royalty ! We apostles seem 
far from that as yet. It seems to me as if God has 
exposed His apostles to public view, like the doomed 
wretches who close a triumphal procession that we, 

30 Letters of St. Paul. iv, 9 ig. 

like them, have been exposed in the amphitheatre before 
the eyes of the world, ay, of angels as well as of men ! 
We maintain the old crude absurdities in Messiah's 
cause ; your faith in Messiah is quite a philosophy. We 
feel ourselves poor weaklings ; you are strong enough to 
stand alone : you are men of distinction ; we are abject 
outcasts. We have never known your privileges : from 
the outset to this day we have been suffering hunger, 
suffering thirst : we have no decent clothing : we are 
victims of mob-violence, we are homeless men : we 
have to toil hard, working with our own hands. Men 
rail on us, we bless them : men persecute us, we meekly 
bear it : men slander us, we gently plead with them. 
We have sunk so low as to be the mere offscouring of 
society, the very refuse of humanity. So has it been 
from the first, and so is it still with us. A stinging 
comparison this ! yet it is not to put you to shame 
that I so write : no, it is to warn you, as my children, 
my dear ones. Ay, though you have enough, and 
more than enough, of men who would drag you to this 
or that school of Messianic theology, few, few loving 
fathers have you you have but me. Yes, it was I 
who begat you into the life of the Messiah, of Jesus, 
by means of the Glad-tidings that I brought you. I 
beseech you then, follow my example. To ensure this, 
I have sent to you Timotheus : he is my dear son, loyal 
in fealty to our Lord ; and he shall remind you of the 
path that I trod in union with our Messiah, with which 
my teaching in every church still accords. But do not in- 
fer from this that I am not coming myself. I know that 
there are some who have assumed an arrogant tone, in- 
sinuating that I dare not come to you. Nay, but come I 
will to you full soon, if it be the Lord's will. Then will I 
test not how great is the talk of these arrogant inter- 
lopers, but how great is their supernatural power. For, 

iv, 20 v, 8. First Letter to the Corinthians. 31 

in the last resort, the Kingdom of God depends, not on 
talk, but on supernatural power. Choose ! am I to 
come to you armed with the rod of chastisement, or 
with love, and with a spirit of gentleness ? 

V. Good cause there is for chastisement. There is 
incest among you it is absolutely notorious incest so 
unnatural that it does not exist even amongst the Gen- 
tiles, the horror of a man's living in intercourse with his 
own father's wife ! And you instead of being crushed 
with grief, till the wretch who has perpetrated this thing 
has been uprooted from your midst have been actually 
puffed up with self-satisfaction ! As to my attitude, 
there shall be no mistake. Absent in body though I am, 
with my spirit I am even now present among you. I 
have decided the fate of the man who has consummated 
this crime, as though I were even now on the spot. You 
are to meet in solemn congregation my spirit will be 
there, armed with the supernatural might of our Lord 
Jesus and you are in the name of our Lord Jesus to 
deliver over that man into the hands of Satan, that he 
may blast the sinner's body, so that at least his spirit 
may be delivered in that Great Day of the Appearing of 
our Lord Jesus. This ' liberty ' on which you pride 
yourselves is infamous infamous ! What, are you 
blind to the fatal force of example ? do you not know 
that it takes but a little leaven to leaven a whole batch ? 
Cleanse out every trace of this old leaven, so that, free 
in profession as you are from leaven of sin, you may 
really be throughout unadulterated. You are bound to 
be, since 

Messiah is our Passover-lamb: He has been slain. 
$vmn. Therefore let us keep His unending Passover- 
Contaminated by no old leaven, [feast, 
By no leaven of vice and wickedness, 

32 Letters of St. Paul. v, 8 vi, 5. 

But feeding on the unleavened bread 
Of sincerity and truth. 

I wrote to you in my previous letter to hold no inter- 
course with licentious men. Of course I was not refer- 
ring to the licentious of the heathen world, nor to its 
overreachers, its extortioners, its idolaters, in which case 
you would have actually to forswear human society. 
But now I have set it down plainly this time I say 
you are to hold no intercourse with any so-called mem- 
ber of your community who is either licentious, or an 
overreacher, or an idolater, or a railer, or a drunkard, or 
an extortioner. No, you must not even eat in company 
with such a man. As for the outside world, what com- 
mission have I to sit in judgment on it ? It is your 
place is it not ? to take cognisance of the conduct of 
your fellow-members. The outside world it is for God 
to judge. In any case, your present duty is clear 
(Deut. 22, 24). 

VI. This mention of judging brings me to a very 
practical question. Is it possible that any one of your 
community has the hardihood, when involved in a busi- 
ness dispute with a fellow-member of the church, to go 
to law in a court of the unbelievers, instead of bringing 
it before a court of the church ? Do you not know that 
believers shall, in the Kingdom of God, sit in judgment 
on the world ? If, then, the world is destined to be 
judged at your bar, are you unfit to be trusted with the 
decision of the merest trifles ? Do you not know that 
we are to sit in judgment upon angels ? how much more, 
then, on mere mundane matters ! Nay rather, if you 
must have tribunals for matters of everyday life, the 
meanest member of your own church is good enough for 
you to appoint to preside over them. I want to make 

vi, 5 14. First Letter to the Corinthians. 33 

you ashamed of yourselves. Have things come to such a 
pass, that there is not to be found amongst you so much 
as one man of sound common sense qualified to arbitrate 
between brother and brother, but that brother must be 
going to law with brother, and that too before heathen 
tribunals ? This at least is at once clear, that it is 
a veritable dwarfing of your moral stature to have 
lawsuits between yourselves at all. Why do you not 
rather submit to wrong ? Why not rather put up with 
being defrauded ? On the contrary, it is you, you, who 
are committing wrong, who are defrauding ay, are so 
treating your brothers ! What ? Do you not know that 
unjust men shall not inherit the Kingdom of God ? Do 
not delude yourselves ! neither fornicators, nor idolaters, 
nor adulterers, nor sensualists, nor sodomites, nor thieves, 
nor overreachers, nor drunkards, nor foul-mouthed men, 
nor extortioners, shall inherit the Kingdom of God. 
Such vile things used some of you to be ! but you have 
washed yourselves clean of these pollutions, but you have 
been consecrated, but you have been pronounced right- 
eous, by trust in the name of your Lord, Jesus the 
Messiah, and by the influence of the Spirit of our God. 

I proceed to deal with your letter in detail. ' All 
things,' you say, ' are now (by virtue of my non-subjec- 
tion to the Mosaic Law) permissible for me.' Possibly ; 
but it does not follow that all things are good for me. 
Permissible all things may be for me ; but, first, I am 
not going to risk being enslaved by any appetite : 
secondly the fact is, all indulgences of the senses do not 
stand on the same footing. As to mere articles of food, 
they were created to be eaten : they and the belly are 
alike destined to dissolution. But the body that was 
not created for fornication, but for our Lord's service, 
and our Lord gave Himself for our bodies. Now, as 
God raised our Lord from the dead, so will He also raise 

34 Letters of St. Paul. vi, 14 vii, 7. 

us by His own power. Do you not know that your 
bodies are members of our Messiah ? Shall I, then, pre- 
sume to take the members of Messiah, and make them 
members of a harlot ? Never ! Nor am I overstating 
the case : you surely must know that the man who is 
knit to the harlot is thereby one body with her ! ' they 
twain shall be one flesh,' is the declaration of Scripture. 
And, on the other hand, he who is knit to the Lord is 
thereby one spirit with Him. Shrink away from fornica- 
tion. Broadly speakly, the sins which a man may commit 
leave the body uncontaminated. Fornication is the one 
exception the sinner thereby blasts his own body. Do 
you not know that your body is the shrine of the Holy 
Spirit which dwells in you, and which you have direct 
from God ? You are not your own, you have been 
bought, and the price paid down. Ah then, glorify God 
in your body ! 

VII. With respect to the questions raised in your 
letter : 

i . Relations of married people. Well, the ideal state 
is abstention from marital intercourse. Still, as a safe- 
guard against the prevailing unchastity, let each husband 
still keep his own wife, and each wife her own husband. 
Let each husband render to the wife the marriage-due, 
and, correspondingly, the wife to the husband. The wife 
has not undisputed control over her own body : the hus- 
band has his rights. Similarly, the husband has not un- 
disputed control over his body : the wife has her rights. 
Do not rob one another of those rights, unless indeed it be 
by mutual consent, and then only temporarily, in order 
that your prayers may be undistracted ; then afterwards 
resume conjugal relations, that Satan may not keep tempt- 
ing you, owing to your lack of self-control. All that I 
have said is to be understood as matter of concession, not 
of injunction. Still, as a matter of preference, I could 

vii, 7 16. First Letter to the Corinthians. 35 

wish that all had my own powers of self-control: but 
each man has his own special gift from God ; in one it 
takes this form, in another that. 

2. As to unmarried persons and widows. I incline to 
say that the ideal state for them is to remain in their 
present condition like mine, in fact. Still, if they can- 
not control their desires, by all means let them marry : 
it is better to marry than to have a fire ever smouldering 
within them. But 

3. To those who are already married I give a clear 
charge, not now on my own responsibility, but by the 
Lord's inspiration : a wife must not separate from 
her husband. If, however, a separation have actually 
taken place, let her either remain unmarried, or be re- 
conciled to her husband. So also, a husband must not 
divorce his wife. 

4. To those involved in the next question, I speak by 
no revelation, but on my own private judgment : if any 
member of the church has a wife who has not embraced 
the faith, and she be quite content to live with him, he is 
not to divorce her. So too, if a wife has a husband who 
has not embraced the faith, and he be quite content to 
live with her, let her not divorce her husband. For the 
unbelieving husband is consecrated in his wife's conse- 
cration, and the unbelieving wife is consecrated in that 
of the believer. Were it otherwise, your children would 
be uncleansed, but, as it is, they are consecrate. If, on 
the other hand, it is the unbeliever who is determined on 
a separation, let the separation take place. Neither 
brother nor sister is fettered in such a case. God has 
invited us to live a life of peace, not of wrangling. What 
reasonable expectation have you, the wife, of saving 
your unbelieving husband ? What reasonable expecta- 
tion have you, the husband, of saving your unbelieving 
wife ? 

36 Letters of St. Paul. vii, 17 28. 

Only, let each member go on living in the same con- 
dition which the Lord originally allotted to him, and in 
which he was when he heard God's call. This, in fact, 
is the rule I am laying down in all the churches. Was 
any man already circumcised when the Call came to 
him ? let him not efface the sign. Was any man uncir- 
cumcised when he heard the Call ? let him not get him- 
self circumcised. Circumcision is absolutely unimportant, 
uncircumcision is as unimportant : keeping the command- 
ments of God is all-important. In whatever condition of 
life each one heard God's call, in that let him remain. 
Were you a bondman when the Call came ? let not that 
trouble you. Even if you get the opportunity of obtain- 
ing your freedom, keep to your present condition by 
preference. The man who, though a bondman, has been 
called to the New Life in God, is the Lord's freed-man ; 
and, conversely, the free man who has been so called is 
the Lord's bondman. You have been bought, and the 
price paid down : do not you become slavish followers of 
any human leader. Let each remain, my brothers, wait- 
ing upon God, in the condition in which he heard God's 

5. Unmarried daughters under parental control with 
respect to these I have no revelation of our Lord's will. 
I simply give my opinion, as one who, by our Lord's 
mercy, has been faithful to his trust. Well then, my 
view is, that, owing to the imminence of distressful 
times, it is decidedly advisable for a man to remain in 
his present condition. Are you united to a wife ? do 
not try to get a separation. Are you unfettered by the 
marriage-tie ? then do not seek a wife. Still, even if you 
have married, you have committed no sin. So also, if the 
virgin marries, she has committed no sin. But such per- 
sons will find that these ties make their affliction (in times 
of persecution) more poignant ; and this I am anxious to 

vii, 28 37. First Letter to the Corinthians. 37 

spare you. And this I do say, brothers ; the margin of time 
left before the Second Coming is very narrow. It follows, 
that they who have wives should be as though they had 
them not ; that they who weep should be as though they 
wept not ; those who rejoice as though they rejoiced not ; 
those who buy goods as though they got them not in full 
possession ; those who enjoy this world's advantages, as 
though they never gave themselves up to the enjoyment 
of them ; for this mere outward show and the world 
around you is nothing more is fast fleeting away. I 
want you to be free from all preoccupation. The un- 
married man can be absorbed in his duties to our Lord : 
he has but to think, ' How shall I please my Lord ? ' 
The married man is absorbed in duties relating to the 
world : he has to think, ' How shall I please my wife ? ' 
hence, concentration of purpose is impossible for him. So 
too of the wife and the virgin : the unmarried woman can 
be absorbed in her duties to her Lord : she has but to 
think, ' How may I be consecrated both in body and in 
spirit ? ' But the wedded woman must be absorbed in 
her duties to the world, thinking, ' How shall I please 
my husband ? ' I am giving these hints entirely for your 
own benefit. I have no thought of trammelling your 
freedom : I want to help you to live a decorous life, a life 
very near to the Lord, without distractions. 

Still, if any father begins to think that he may be 
treating his maiden daughter unhandsomely, if she be 
near the verge of the marriageable age, and if there are 
good reasons for the proposed match, let him follow 
his own kindly impulse ; he commits no sin let the 
maid and her suitor marry. On the other hand, in the 
case of a father whose mind is definitely made up, who 
is unembarrassed by circumstances over which he has no 
control, and who has power to enforce his decision, and 
has passed this sentence in the session of his heart, ' I will 

38 Letters of St. Paul. vii, 37 viii, 7. 

keep my daughter unmarried ' he will be acting rightly 
too. In short, he who gives his daughter in marriage acts 
well, though he who refrains from so doing acts better. 

A wife is bound to her husband so long as he lives ; 
but after her husband has slept death's sleep, she is free 
to marry whom she pleases, always provided he be a be- 
liever. Still, she is a happier woman if she remains a 
widow, according to my judgment and I have, I think, 
the Spirit of God as truly as any of you. 

VIII. 6. Food which has been offered at heathen 
sacrifices. On this point you seem to think that you 
need no advice. ' We all possess spiritual illumination,' 
you say I am quite aware of it. This ' illumination ' 
blows up the wind-bag of empty self-sufficiency : it is 
Love that builds up the solid structure of the New Life. 
If any man imagine himself to be ' illuminated ' on any 
subject, I can only say that he does not yet recognise 
anything as he rightly should recognise it : but if a man 
loves God, that man is recognised by Him. 

Well, with respect to the eating of idol-sacrifices, we 
all know that, as our hymn expresses it, 

Nowhere in the universe has an idol any true 
There is no God except the One. [being. 
Yea, though there be gods, so styled, 
Be they in heaven, or be they on earth, 
Gods enow, and lords enow, good sooth ! 
Yet for us there is one God, the Father, 
Who is the Source of all things, who is our 

Final End, 

And one Lord, Jesus the Messiah, 
Through whom are all things upheld, yea, our- 
selves through Him. 

Ay, but all believers do not possess this ' illumination ' 

viii, 7 ix, 4. First Letter to the Corinthians. 39 

that you boast ; on the contrary, some people, having 
been all their lives familiarized with the idea of the idol's 
real existence, look on the food as an idol-sacrifice while 
they eat it. Thus their conscience, tenderly scrupulous 
as it is, is being guilt-stained. True, what we eat will 
not affect our standing before God. If we abstain, we 
shall not be prejudiced in His sight : if we eat, we shall 
enjoy no advantage. But O, beware lest these ' rights ' 
of yours become an obstruction to the progress of the 
scrupulous. If any such person sees you (who possess 
this ' illumination ') reclining at the feast in an idol's 
temple, may not the conscience of such a man be, in 
spite of his scruples, so buttressed up as to lead him to 
eat what to him are still idol-sacrifices ? Ay, and so 
your scrupulous brother is being ruined through your 
' illumination ' that brother for whom Messiah died ! 
In this way, by transgressing against your brothers, I 
mean, by persistently shocking their conscience, tender 
as it is, you are transgressing against our Messiah. 
Therefore, if what I eat obstructs my brother's spiritual 
progress, I declare I will never eat flesh, never ! that I 
may not set an obstruction in the path of my brother. 

IX. I have to meet two protests i, the protest of 
your intellect, which objects to curtailment of its 
' rights ' ; 2, the protest of your appetite, which objects 
to curtailment of pleasures not sinful. My answer to 
the first is my own example. Am I not emancipated 
from the Mosaic Law ? Am I not a true apostle ? 
Have I not with my own eyes seen Jesus our Lord ? 
Is not your life in union with our Lord my work ? If in 
the estimation of some others I am not a true apostle, in 
yours at least I am. Your existence as a church, your 
life in our Lord, is the actual seal set on my mission- 
work that is my defence to those who challenge my 
claim. Well then, have we not I and my fellows a 

40 Letters of St. Paul. ix, 4 15. 

right to free maintenance by our converts ? Have we not 
as good a right to take with us on our journeys from church 
to church our wives, believers as they are, as have the 
other apostles, our Lord's brothers, for instance, and 
Kephas ? Or have we alone Barnabas and I no right 
to claim a dispensation from manual labour ? Why, 
what soldier in a campaign has to find himself in food ? 
Who that plants a vineyard is debarred from eating of 
the produce of it ? Who that pastures a flock is forbid- 
den to partake of the milk of that flock ? But why ap- 
peal to human and social relations only ? Does not the 
Law too lay down the same principle ? Certainly ! in 
Moses' Law it stands written, ' THOU SHALT NOT MUZZLE AN 


Tell me not that God is here showing His care for oxen 
only ! Does He not say it mainly wholly for the sake 
of us men ? Most certainly it was written for our sakes, 
on the eternal principle that the ploughman ought, while 
ploughing, and the thresher, while threshing, to be up- 
borne by the hope of having a share of the harvest. If 
I have sown spirit-seed in your hearts, is it asking too 
much that I should reap from you a bare maintenance 
for my body ? If others take care to get their share of 
' their rights ' from you, have / not a still better claim ? 
But and this is my point / have never exercised this 
1 right ' of mine. No, I endure every extremity, rather 
than oppose any hindrance whatever to the spread of the 
Glad-tidings of our Messiah. But as to my right ! 
need I remind you that the priests who perform the 
temple-services receive their maintenance from the tem- 
ple-resources, that they whose post is beside the altar of 
sacrifice get their portion of the victims offered thereon ? 
Precisely so did our Lord ordain that those who publish 
His Glad-tidings should get at least a bare living from the 
Glad-tidings. But, for all this, I, personally, have never 

ix, 15 22. First Letter to the Corinthians. 41 

availed myself of this right. I am not writing in this 
strain to prepare the way for my doing so. No ! better 
for me to die than that no man shall prove this my 
boast an empty vaunt ! I proclaim the Glad-tidings : but 
that is not matter of boasting for me. An overmastering 
constraint forces me to it. Ay, woe to me, if I proclaim 
not the Glad-tidings ! If I do this with cheerful willing- 
ness, I find my reward therein ; but, were it done reluc- 
tantly, I should have to do it still, like a slave to whom 
his lord has entrusted the steward's office. What then 
is the reward I find therein ? Just this the conscious- 
ness of giving to men Glad-tidings that cost them nothing 
the consciousness that / take no selfish advantage of 
' my rights' in connection with the Glad-tidings. 

But I not only waive my rights, I submit to restric- 
tions. Free and independent though I really am of all 
sections of religionists, I have made myself a veritable 
bondman to each and all, so as to win the most possible 
for Jesus. I met the Jews on the footing of a fellow- 
Jew, so as to win the Jews yes, I (who am really eman- 
cipated from the Law) met those who subject themselves 
to the Mosaic Law, as one of themselves, 1 so as to gain 
the devotees of the Law. Those unfettered by Mosaic 
Law I met as one unfettered like themselves not, of 
course, unfettered by God's law ; nay, rather, but closer 
bound in Messiah's law so as to win those who are 
not under the Mosaic Law. Men of tender religious 
scruples I met as a man who could sympathize with ten- 
der religious scruples so as to win the scrupulous. To 
all men I assumed all characters, so as by all means to 

i . Thus submitting to synagogue discipline, exercised in his case 
mercilessly ; for example, in the infliction five times of the ' forty 
stripes save one.' Without such conformity he could not have 
entered the synagogues to preach Christ there, with which he com- 
menced his mission-work in every place he visited. 

42 Letters of St. Paul. ix, 22 x, 7. 

gain some. All this I do for the sake of the Glad-tidings, 
so that I may have a real part and share in them. 

And have you no motives for similar abnegation of 
self ? Have you not observed how in the race-course all 
the competitors keep racing on ? and yet of them only 
one can win the prize. With like earnestness do you 
keep racing on, with the one aim of grasping your prize 
not of standing out for your ' rights.' Once more, 
every competitor in those athletic contests practises con- 
tinual self-denial. They do it to win a fading wreath 
can we not practise self-denial (of our ' rights ') to win an 
unfading wreath ? I, at all events, mean to run my race 
with that goal as my one object : I am a boxer who deal 
my blows at anything but the empty air of my ' rights.' 
Nay, I browbeat my own animal nature (you are inclined 
to be champions for yours), and treat it, not as my master, 
but as my slave lest, by any chance, after acting as the 
herald of the lists who bids others enter, I might find my 
own self disqualified from competing. 

X. As to the second objection, that of the appetite: 
my brothers, I want you to bear in mind that my 
Israelite forefathers all gathered under that cloud- 
banner ; in one host they marched through the Red Sea ; 
and by this their baptism in cloud and sea they pledged 
themselves to follow Moses : they all ate the same spirit- 
food, they all drank the same spirit-drink, for they drank 
of the outflow from the spirit-rock which still attended 
their march and that rock was the Messiah. Yet, in 
spite of these privileges, with the vast majority of them 
God was displeased, as is shown by the fact that their 
corpses were left strewn in the wilderness. Now all these 
experiences should serve as warnings to us, deterring 
us from craving for what is harmful, as they did. Ay, 
do not you palter with idolatry, as did some of them, as 
is told in the record, ' The people sat down to eat and 

x, 7 18. First Letter to the Corinthians. 43 

drink' (the thing you see no risk in) 'and rose up thence 
for idol-dances.' Ex. 32, 6.) And let us not, by fre- 
quenting those scenes of licentiousness, be lured into 
fornication, as were some of them, when there fell dead 
in one day three-and-twenty thousand. Neither let us 
try the Lord's patience (as by seeing how near you can 
go to sin), as some of them tried it, who were destroyed 
by the serpents. Neither let us murmur at restrictions, 
as some of them murmured, and were destroyed by the 
Destroying Angel. Now these things which happened 
to them should serve as warnings to us. They were, in 
fact, put on record as admonitions to us, whom the last 
great days of the world's existence have overtaken. 1 
Therefore let the man who imagines himself to be stand- 
ing so securely see to it lest he fall. And you can avoid 
falling ; for, first, no temptation has overtaken you but 
such as man may well withstand ; secondly, God is true 
to His promise : He will not allow you to be tempted 
beyond your power of resistance ; nay, along with each 
temptation He will provide the door of escape, so that 
you may be able to endure. 

The conclusion, my dear, dear friends, is this keep 
as far away as you can from idolatry. I am appealing 
to your reason and good sense. Weigh this argument 
yourselves : the Cup of the Blessing, on which we 
invoke God's benediction, is the medium by which we 
share the blood of Messiah, is it not ? That bread which 
we break, it is the medium by which we share Messiah's 
body, is it not ? We are, however numerous, one body, 
just as the bread is one loaf; for, you know, we all share 
the one loaf. Again, look at the case of Israel (the 
Israelites by descent, I mean) : all of them who eat of 

i. So Stanley. Another interpretation is, 'who stand at the 
meeting of the Ages the end of the Old Order, and the beginning 
of the New.' 

44 Letters of St. Paul. x, 18 29. 

the sacrifice are sharers in the altar, are they not? 
What is my point, then, (since, by parity of reasoning, 
the same conclusion must apply to heathen sacrifices) ? 
Am I implying that a thing sacrificed to an idol is 
intrinsically affected thereby ? that an idol is a real 
existence ? No, but this the sacrifices that heathens 
offer, they offer, in effect, to demons, and not to God. 
I cannot consent to your becoming sharers in the 
demons' feast. It is out of the question that you should 
drink both of the cup of our Lord, and of the cup of 
demons. It will never do for you to be guests of our 
Lord at the same time that you are guests of demons. 
Are we to challenge the Lord's jealousy by offering Him 
demons as His rivals ? what, are we so strong as to defy 

Now you may see what I meant by saying, ' All 
things may be permissible for me ; but all things 
are not good for me.' All things are permissible ; but 
not all things build up our spiritual life. Let no one 
make his own interests his one aim, but rather his 
neighbour's interests. For a practical rule everything 
sold in the meat-market eat, refraining from asking ques- 
tions to satisfy scruples of conscience ; for ' TO THE 


(Ps. 24, 7). Again, if any unbeliever invites you to 
his house, and you are disposed to go, eat of every- 
thing set before you, refraining from asking any ques- 
tions to satisfy scruples of conscience. But, supposing 
some scrupulous brother says to you, ' This is temple- 
offered meat,' then do not think of eating, on his account 
who so indicated it, on account, in fact, of these scruples 
of conscience. By ' conscience ' I mean, not your own, 
but your scrupulous neighbour's for of course it would be 
absurd that my own conscience should submit its liberty 
of thought to the judgment of another man's conscience. 

x, 3O xi, 10. First Letter to the Corinthians. 45 

If I partake of my food with thanksgiving, I am not to 
be calumniated for eating that for which I give God 
thanks. So then, whether you are eating, or drinking, or 
whatever you are doing, do all things to the glory of God. 
Do not make yourselves hindrances in the path either of 
Jews or Greeks, or of God's church. This is my own prin- 
ciple to try to make everybody happy, not to aim at my 
own interests, but at those of the great mass of men, that 
they may be saved. Do you follow my example, as I do 
that of our Messiah. 

XI. 7. As to the next question, that of being covered 
during worship. Here I must say, ' Well done ! ' for the 
assurance that 'you remember me in all things, and are 
observing the rules that I laid down for your guidance.' 
Well, I want you to grasp the principle involved the 
head of each man is Messiah : the head of the woman is 
the man : the head of Messiah is God. Every man who, 
while praying in public or preaching, keeps a covering 
on his head, is doing dishonour to his head ; but every 
woman who, while praying in public or preaching, keeps 
her head uncovered, is doing dishonour to her head she 
could not be worse if she were shaven. In fact, if a 
woman insists on being unveiled like a man, let her also 
wear her hair cut short like a man ! But as it is a mark 
of infamy for a woman to be shorn or shaven, 1 let her keep 
her veil on. But a man is under no obligation to have his 
head veiled. He represents ' the likeness (and so, the glory) 
of God ' ; but the woman reflects but the glory of man. 
Man's creation, you know, was not a consequence of 
woman's, but woman's of that of man, since it was not for 
woman's sake that man was created, but woman for man's. 
For this reason each woman ought to wear that symbol of 
his authority on her head, for fear of the eyes of the angels. 

i. It was inflicted as a punishment on adulteresses. 

46 Letters of St. Paul. xi, II 22. 

Still, it must always be remembered that, as woman has not 
life in our Lord to the exclusion of man, neither has man to 
the exclusion of woman. For, as woman originally derived 
her being from man, so does man still derive his through 
the instrumentality of woman, and all derive from God. 
Bring your own common-sense to bear on the question 
is it decent for a woman to be offering public prayer to 
God with her head unveiled ? Do not our own natural 
instincts teach us that, while it is unmanly for a man 
to wear long hair, for a woman to wear long hair is 
womanly ? Her hair is God's gift to her, a natural veil. 
However, it is not a question to be settled by mere argu- 
ment. If any person seems disposed to quarrel with my 
decision, let the sufficient answer be, ' Your view is 
against all usage, alike of our own and of all other 
churches of God.' 

And, while I am on this subject of your church-meet- 
ings, there is one feature with respect to which I cannot 
say, ' Well done ! ' I understand that your gatherings are 
so conducted as to tend, not to your improvement, but to 
your deterioration. In the first place, I hear that, when 
you assemble in congregation, there are cliques among 
you ; and there is, I fear, some foundation for the story. 
Well, if there must be these exclusive parties among you, 
the men of sterling character will be conspicuous by their 
abstention from them. Again, when, as I said, you 
gather on these occasions, it is impossible to eat the Lord's 
Supper. Why ? because each of you in that meal is 
clutching at his own supper. So little is it a common meal, 
that, while one is positively hungry, another is actually 
drunk ! What, have you no houses in which to satisfy 
mere hunger and thirst ? Do you presume to treat God's 
church with contempt ? to humiliate the poorer fellow- 
members ? What am I to say to you ? Am I to say, in 
this matter, ' Well done ? ' No, I say, ' Most ill done ! ' 

xi, 23 34. First Letter to the Corinthians. 47 

The order of procedure, as I received it from our Lord, and 
as I delivered it to you, was as your ritual-chant has it 

^pmn of The Lord Jesus 

tfje On that same night whereon he was betrayed, 
fcortTi Took bread : and, when he had given thanks, 
Cupper. he brake it, 

And said, ' This is my body, which is for you : 

This do ye, in remembrance of me.' 
So likewise the cup, after supper was done, 
Saying, ' This cup is the New Covenant, 

Ratified in my blood. 
This do, as often as ye drink, in remembrance of me.' 

Yes, as often as you are eating this bread, and are 
drinking this cup, you are proclaiming the fact of our 
Lord's death, and so you will continue doing till He 
comes the second time. It follows, that whoever habit- 
ually eats the bread and drinks the cup of the Lord in a 
manner dishonourable to Him, will become responsible 
for the wounding of the body, for the spilling of the 
blood, of our Lord. No, let each one scrutinize his con- 
duct, and so eat of the bread, and drink of the cup. For 
he who eats and drinks is eating and drinking a sentence 
upon himself, if he does not recognise the presence of 
the Body. 

It is through these irregularities that many among you 
are now ailing and sickly, and not a few are sleeping the 
sleep of death. If we recognised our own condition, we 
should not be thus judged. This judgment comes to us 
as a discipline from the Lord, to save us from being in- 
volved in the final condemnation of the world. 

Therefore, my brothers, when you gather together for 
that meal, wait for one another. If any one is hungry, 
let him first take a meal at home. Thus you will not, 
by your meetings, bring judgment upon yourselves. 

48 Letters of St. Paul. xi, 34 xii, u. 

As to other matters of procedure, I will regulate them 
when I visit you. 

XII. 8. As to the relative estimation and exercise of 
the gifts of the Spirit : With respect to these, my 
brothers, I want you to have clear conceptions. You 
know that, when you were heathens, you used to be 
swept along by impulses beyond your own control, in the 
orgies of those dumb idols. But there is no parallel be- 
tween those frenzies and the breathings of the Spirit : 
and therefore I must impress upon you, that no one who 
speaks rapt in the Spirit of God can cry, ' Accursed is 
Jesus ! n On the other hand, no one can in his rapture 
cry, ' Our Lord is Jesus ! ' except he be possessed by the 

Now there are various kinds of Gifts, but the bestow- 
ing Spirit is the same. There are various forms of ser- 
vice to our Lord, but our Lord is the same. There are 
varieties of effects ; but the same God is there, who is 
actuating them all in all who display them. Now, mark, 
it is for the benefit of the church that the manifestation 
of the Spirit is bestowed on this or that person. On one 
is bestowed through the channel of the Spirit philosophic 
eloquence ; to another comes, in accordance with the 
same Spirit's workings, the utterance of spiritual illumi- 
nation ; to another, borne on the breathings of the same 
Spirit, comes faith ; to another, gifts of healing, in the 
power of one Spirit still ; to another, energies of super- 
natural power ; to another, inspired oratory ; to another, 
the faculty of detecting the truth or falsity of any inspi- 
ration ; to another, varieties of ' Tongues ' ; to another, 
the power to interpret Tongues : but, in all these, it is 
one and the same Spirit that is the energizing source. 

i. It has been suggested that some, in a professed rapture-trance, 
cried ' Jesus is Anathema ! ' perhaps a misapplication of Deut. xxi. 
23, quoted in Gal. iii. 13. 

xii, II 25. First Letter to the Corinthians. 49 

He allots, according to His will, His gifts to this and to 
that man. 

To take an illustration : the body is one whole : it 
has many organs ; yet all these organs of the body, mul- 
tifarious as they are, comprise but the one body : so is it 
with Messiah. For we, enfolded by the one Spirit, be- 
came by baptism incorporated into one body one, mark 
you, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether bondmen 
or freemen. At one fountain-spirit we were all caused 
to drink. Well now, the body is not one organ, but 
many. Suppose the foot were to cry, ' Since I am not 
the hand, I am no part of the body ! ' would that consti- 
tute it no part of the body ? If the ear were to say, 
1 Since I am not the eye, I am no part of the body ! ' 
would that constitute it no part of the body ? Suppose 
the whole body were one eye, what would become of the 
sense of hearing ? If the whole body were hearing, what 
would become of the sense of smell ? But, as things are, 
God has placed the several organs in the body according 
to His own discretion. Suppose they were all blended 
into one organ, how could the body be said to exist ? 
No, as things are, we find many organs, but one body. 
The eye cannot say to the hand, ' Need of thee have 
I none ! ' nor, again, the head to the feet, ' Need of 
you have I none ! ' Quite the contrary : those very 
organs which might seem to have least influence are 
really indispensable. Those parts of the body which we 
look upon as the more ignoble, these we ennoble with 
more beautiful clothing. Our ungraceful parts, in fact, 
are adorned with more special grace, whereas our grace- 
ful parts need no adorning. God, in fact, has made a 
composite whole of the body, assigning special honour to 
the part which naturally lacks it, so that there may be 
no divided interests in the body, and that its various 
organs may be united in solicitous care for each other's 

50 Letters of St. Paul. xii, 25 xiii, 3. 

welfare. And accordingly, if one organ be in pain, all 
the organs sympathize with it. On the other hand, if 
one organ be arrayed in beauty, all the organs share its 

Well, then, you are collectively Messiah's Body, and 
are individually His members. Consequently, you have 
your several functions God has placed in His church in 
the first rank His apostles ; in the second, inspired 
preachers ; in the third, expounders ; after that come 
those who possess supernatural powers, then those who 
have gifts of healing, gifts for helping the weak, gifts for 
church-administration ; lastly, varieties of ' tongues.' 
Can all be apostles ? can all be inspired preachers ? 
can all be expounders ? can all be marvel-workers ? 
have all gifts of healing ? can all speak with ' tongues ' ? 
can all interpret them ? It is for you to yearn for the 
higher gifts. Nay, but none of them should represent 
the summit of your aspirations I now point you to a path 
that leads to heights beyond all heights : 

XIII. fevmn Though with all tongues of men I speak, 

of yea, of angels, 

JLnbe, And have not Love, 

I have but become clanging brass or clash- 
ing cymbal. 

Yea, though I have utterance inspired, 
Though I fathom all mystic secrets, have full illumination, 
Though I have utter faith, such as might move mountains 
from their seats, 

And have not Love, 
Nothing am I. 

And though I dole away in charity all my goods, 
And though I yield up my body to a death of fire, 
And have not Love, 
Nothing it availeth me. 

xiii, 4 xiv, 2. First Letter to the Corinthians. 51 

Love is long-forbearing, is all kindness : 

Love knows not jealousy. 
Love does not parade her gifts, swells not with self-conceit, 

she flouts not decency : 
She grasps not at her rights, refuses to take offence, has 

no memory for injuries. 
She exults not over wrong triumphant, she shows glad 

sympathy with Truth. 

All tolerance is she, all trustfulness, all hope, all strong 

Love's flower-petals never fall. 
Eloquence inspired for this there shall be no use : 

Tongues they shall be hushed : 
Illumination for this there shall be no use. 
Yes, partial is that our illumination, partial our inspira- 
tion : 
But when cometh the perfect, for the partial there shall 

be no use. 

When I was a child, as a child I wont to talk ; 
As a child I felt, as a child I reasoned ; 
But now that I am grown to man, outworn for me are 

the things of the child. 

Yea, we see as yet the Vision glassed in a mirror it is a 
dark riddle 

But then face to face shall we gaze. 
Now my knowledge comes from seeing but a part ; 
But then shall I understand, as fully as I am understood. 
So then these abide unperishing Faith, Hope, Love, 
These three Gifts alone : 
But chiefest of these is Love. 

XIV. Let Love be the prize for which you run : still, 
by all means continue to covet the gifts of the Spirit 
inspired eloquence by preference. I say this, because he 
who talks with a Tongue is talking, not to men, but to 

52 Letters of St. Paul. xiv, 2 13. 

God, since no man can understand him. Rapt in the 
Spirit, he is uttering mystic secrets. But the inspired 
preacher is talking to human beings : his utterances tend 
to their spiritual progress, their encouragement, their 
consolation. He who talks with a Tongue may be ad- 
vancing his own spiritual progress ; but the inspired 
preacher is advancing that of the church. I have no 
objection to your all possessing the Gift of Tongues ; 
but I had much rather you were inspired preachers. 
The inspired preacher, in fact, is superior to him who 
talks with Tongues ; unless, indeed, the latter adds a 
running interpretation, in order that the church may re- 
ceive spiritual advancement. To take my own case 
suppose /, my brothers, come to you talking with 
Tongues, what benefit shall I bring you, if my utterance 
impart no unveiling of the unseen, no spiritual illumina- 
tion, no inspired address, no exposition ? To take an 
illustration there are instruments which, though inani- 
mate, actually speak, as the flute or the harp ; yet if they 
mark no distinction between the notes, how is the air 
performed on flute or harp to be recognised ? Nay, if even 
in the trumpet's blast there be any uncertainty, who will 
make ready for fight ? Your case is similar : if through the 
Tongue you do not utter intelligible language, how is any 
meaning to be attached to what you say ? You might as 
well be talking to the winds. There are as many varie- 
ties, it may well be, of languages in the world, as these 
Tongues of yours, and not one of them is meaningless. 
Still, if I do not know the significance of a particular 
language, my speech will seem, to him who speaks it, a 
mere jargon, and his will seem a mere jargon to me. 
Accordingly, do you, since you are so prone to covet 
spirit-visitations, seek that you may be rich in what shall 
help to build up the fabric of the church. Therefore, 
let him who talks with a Tongue ask God to enable him 

xiv, 13 25. First Letter to the Corinthians. 53 

to give a concurrent interpretation. If I am praying in 
a Tongue, my spirit is engaged in prayer, but my intelli- 
gence is simply barren. What, then, is my conclusion ? 
This I will by all means pray in the Spirit's rapture, but 
I will also pray with my intelligence. I will sing in the 
Spirit's rapture, but I will sing with my intelligence also. 
Otherwise, if you are praising God in the Spirit's rapture 
only, how is he who occupies the position of the unin- 
spired to add his ' Amen ! ' to your thanksgiving, when 
he does not understand what you say ? Your thanks- 
giving is admirable in itself, but your fellow-believer is 
not thereby built up in the faith. I myself am subject 
to this ecstasy more than all of you put together and I 
thank God for this evidence of His presence but, for all 
that, I would rather, in a church-gathering, utter five 
words with my intelligence, so as to be teaching others 
as well, than five-score hundred in a Tongue ! 

My brothers, do not make yourselves little children in 
discernment. In vice continue to be mere babes, but in 
discernment develope into grown men. In the Law it 


11, 12). This indicates that the Tongues are designed to 
serve as a supernatural sign, not to believers, but to un- 
believers. Inspired preaching, on the other hand, is 
designed, not for unbelievers, but for believers. Suppose, 
now, the whole church to be holding a united meeting 
and all, one after another, to be talking with tongues ; if 
there come in uninspired or unbelieving persons, will 
they not say that you are raving ? But if all, one after 
another, utter inspired speech, and there come in an un- 
believing or uninspired person, one by one they convict 
him, one by one they probe his thoughts; the secrets of 
his heart are laid bare : and so, falling upon his face, he 

54 Letters of St. Paul. xiv, 25 36. 

will pay homage to God, carrying away the tidings that 
God is really among you. 

What, then, is the practical application of this to you ? 
When you gather, one of you has ready a hymn, another 
a piece of exposition, another a revelation, another 
breaks into rhapsody of the Tongue, another is prepared 
to give an interpretation of it. Let all be conducted 
with a view to the spiritual advancement of the church. 
If any wish to talk in a Tongue, let two only, or at most 
three such be allowed at each meeting not simulta- 
neously, but in turn : there must also be one who 
furnishes the interpretation. If no one qualified to 
interpret be present, let the rhapsodist be silent at the 
church-meeting : let him talk to himself and to God. 
Inspired speakers are to speak two or three at a meeting ; 
and let those who have the gift of discernment of inspira- 
tion then exercise it. If, during an address, a revelation 
comes to another of the audience, let the first speaker be 
silent. It is quite possible for all of you in turn to speak 
under inspiration, that all may from time to time receive 
instruction and exhortation. Do not say that such a 
regulation cannot be enforced. I tell you, the spirits of 
the inspired speakers are under the control of the inspired 
speakers. God, the source of their inspiration, is the 
author, not of confusion, but of peace. Moreover, the 
above is the practice in all the churches of believers. 

9. Women-speakers. Your women must abstain from 
speaking at church-meetings. They are not authorized 
to speak in public : they must be submissive just as, in 
fact, the Mosaic Law enjoins. If they desire to put any 
questions, let them ask their own husbands at home. It 
is not decent for a woman to be addressing a public meet- 
ing. ' But,' you say, ' our women do speak and will speak ' 
what ! are you the fountain-head whence God's word 
issued ? Are you the only community to which it came, 

xiv, 37 xv, 9. First Letter to the Corinthians. 55 

that you should arrogate to yourselves independence ? 

Let whoever imagines that he is an inspired preacher, 
or endowed with spiritual gifts, give a proof of it by 
recognising the commandment of our Lord in what I 
now write to you. But if any one says, ' I fail to per- 
ceive that,' even let him rest complacent in the ignorance 
which simply proves non-inspiration. 

The conclusion, my brothers, is this: covet the gift 
of inspired preaching ; still, do not wholly repress speak- 
ing with Tongues. Only, let everything be conducted 
with due regard to decorum and discipline. 

XV. 10. As to the Resurrection of the Dead. My 
brothers, I want you to be under no misapprehension as 
to the purport of the Glad-tidings that I proclaimed to 
you, which also you received, and in which you still 
stand firm, and by means of which too you are being 
saved. I would have you recall in what terms I pro- 
claimed it to you ; for I presume you remember unless 
indeed your belief was all in vain. Well, I delivered to 
you, as the cardinal feature of your faith, what was no 
invention of my own I received it myself that 

Cfje Messiah died for our sins, 
fcrsurmtum According to the Scriptures. 

Crcc&'rfjant. He was buried, and was raised the third day, 

According to the Scriptures. 
He was seen by Kephas, then by the Twelve : 
Thereafter was He seen by over five hundred brethren at 
one time, 

Of whom most survive even until now ; 
But some have slept in death. 
Thereafter was He seen by James, 
Then by all His apostles. 

And last of all, by me too, as it were by His child un- 
timely-born, was He seen. Yes, I am the meanest of His 

56 Letters of St. Paul. xv, g 21. 

apostles : I do not deserve to be called His apostle, /, 
who once persecuted the church of God ! It is all through 
the grace of God that I am what I am. His grace, which 
stooped to me, has not proved ineffectual ; but I have 
toiled harder, far harder than all the rest no, no, not I ! 
It was the work of the grace of God which was helping 
me. Well, whether it were I or the other apostles who 
actually laboured most, this is the purport of our procla- 
mation, this the central fact of your belief. 

Now if the essential proclamation touching Messiah 
is, that HE HAS RISEN FROM THE DEAD, how comes it that 
some of you are asserting that there is no such thing as 
a resurrection of the dead ? If resurrections from the 
dead do not happen,' it must follow that Messiah has 
never risen. If Messiah has not risen, an empty sound 
then is our proclamation, a baseless fabric your faith. 
Nay more, we are in that case convicted of bearing false 
witness as to God's acts, in having given testimony 
against God, to the effect that He raised Messiah 
whom He never did raise, if, in point of fact, ' dead men 
do not rise.' For, if dead people do not and cannot rise, 
Messiah has not risen either. And, if Messiah has not 
risen, your faith is an idle dream, you are still sunk in 
your sins. Ay, and those who have been hushed to sleep, 
in union with Messiah still, have been just annihilated ! 
If our trust in Messiah is limited to this life only, most 
pitiable of all human beings are we ! Ah, but, in real 

Messiah has been raised from the dead ! 
and (since one resurrection disproves the impossibility) 

&mnn He is the first sheaf of a great harvest, 

of tfje Of all who have been hushed to death's sleep. 

JirgunrcttDtt For, since through a man came death, 

atrtr Through a Man too has come resurrection 
exaltation, of the dead. 

xv, 22 3 2 - First Letter to the Corinthians. 57 

For as, by their part in Adam, all are dying, 
So, by their part in Messiah, shall all be quickened 

into life. 
Yet must each come in his befitting rank 

Messiah the firstfruits, 
Then, in the Day of his Coming, Messiah's Own. 

Then shall be the End, 
When he surrenders the Kingdom to God, 

the Father, 

When he has brought to nought all other lordship, 
all authority, all power : 

For ' He must be King 
Till God has thrust all foes beneath his feet.' 
The last foe to be brought to nought is death ; 
For all things all hath God ' bowed beneath his 

But from the words, ' all things are bowed beneath 
him, 1 we must admit one obvious exception God Him- 
self, He who so bowed them beneath Messiah. 

And when all things are bowed submissive to him, 

Then shall the Son too bow submissive 

To Him who bowed all beneath him, 

That God may be the All, the All-pervading. 

Again, what object will be attained by those who get 
themselves baptized by proxy for relations who died be- 
fore they had such an opportunity for themselves ? If 
dead men absolutely do not rise, why are these baptized 
for their friends ? Yes, and why should we be facing 
hourly peril ? Here am I meeting death daily I swear 
it by that boast, my brothers, which I make of you in 
the presence of Messiah Jesus our Lord ! If it is but 
with mortal hopes and aims that I have battled, like some 

58 Letters of St. Paul. xv, 32 42. 

gladiator, with veritable wild beasts here in Ephesus, 
what is the good of it all ? If dead men rise never, 

' E'en let us eat and drink, 
For to-morrow we die.' 

Do not make the mistake of thinking that you can 
associate with these sceptics unharmed. 

' 111 company doth mar good characters.' 1 

Start from this drugged slumber with a righteous re- 
solve : continue no more to err. I say that these doubts 
show that some of you still know not the power of God 
I say it that you may blush for it ! 

But I hear some caviller say, ' How are the dead 
to be raised ? In what possible body are they to re- 
appear ? ' Unreflecting man ! the very seed you your- 
self sow must decay as a preliminary condition for being 
quickened into new life. You sow the living form that 
is by and by to rise up, is that what you sow? no, 
but a leafless seed, of corn or some other plant, as the 
case may be. It is God who bestows on it its new form, 
according to His will : to each of the seeds He assigns its 
special development. Why, even now, all flesh is not 
identical in composition : the flesh of human beings, of 
brutes, of birds, of fishes, is essentially different. Nay 
more, there are bodies of heavenly beings, even as there 
are bodies of earthly beings. Ah, but far different is the 
glory of those heavenly forms from any beauty of the 
earthly ! So the splendour of the sun is one thing, that 
of the moon another, that of the stars yet another ; nay, 
star differs from star in splendour. These reflections will 
help you to understand the conditions of the resurrection 
of the dead. Think of the body as a seed 

i . From the Thais, a play by the poet Menander. 

xv, 42 5 2 - First Letter to the Corinthians. 59 

fctDttm It is sown in corruption, it is raised in incor- 
af tfje ruption : 

ttriurrrctum It is sown in dishonour, it is raised in glory : 
of tfje It is sown in weakness, it is raised in might : 
Uoag. It is sown an animal body, it is raised a 

spiritual body. 

As surely as there is an animal body, 
So surely is there a spiritual body. 

Yea, this is the meaning of that which is written, 

' The first man, Adam, came into being as a living exist- 

The last Adam as a life-giving spirit. 

Yet not first was the spiritual, but the animal ; 
Then the spiritual. 

The first man was of the earth, a vessel of clay ; 

The second Man is from Heaven. 
As was the vessel of clay, so are the sons of clay : 
And as is the Heavenly One, so are the sons of 

And, as we have borne the image of the vessel of 


We shall bear also the image of the Heavenly 

So this I do assert, my brothers material flesh and 
blood cannot inherit the Kingdom of God, nor may 
perishability inherit imperishability. Lo, the Mystic 
Secret is this that I tell you 

We shall all- 
ot t!>e Not, sleep in death, but 

!tctflrp. We shall all be changed. 

In an instant, in the flash of an eye, 
At the last trumpet-call. 

60 Letters of St. Paul. xv, 52 xvi, 4. 

For the trumpet shall sound, 

And the dead shall be raised, imperishable ; 
And we, the living, shall be transformed. 
For this perishable frame must clothe itself with the im- 
perishable ; 

This mortal frame must clothe itself with immortality. 
And when this perishable frame hath clad itself with the 


When this mortal frame hath clad itself with immortality, 
Then shall come to pass the word that stands written 
1 Death hath been swallowed up in victory ! ' 
' Where, O Death, is that thy victory ? 
Where, O Death, is that thy sting ? ' 
His sting is given to death by sin ; 
Its power to hurt is given to sin by the Law. 
But to God be the thanks, who is ever giving us the 

Through our Lord, Jesus the Messiah ! 

Therefore, my brothers, dear ones, prove yourselves 
steadfast, unflinching, overflowing with zeal in the Lord's 
work always, knowing as you do that your toil is not 
fruitless in the sight of the Lord. 

XVI. n. As to the Raising of the Alms-fund. With 
respect to the charitable contributions to be forwarded to 
the members of the church at Jerusalem, I should like 
you to adopt the plan I arranged for the churches of 
Galatia. On the first day of the week let each of you 
set apart a certain portion of his profits, forming a little 
hoard, so that the raising of the contributions may not 
be postponed till my actual arrival. And, when I do 
visit you, to whatever persons you may give the authority 
of written credentials, them will I send as bearers of your 
bounty to Jerusalem. Indeed, if there appears sufficient 
reason for my going in person, they shall travel with me. 

xvi, 5 17. First Letter to the Corinthians. 61 

I may say that I intend to visit you, when next I pass 
through Macedonia. My present plans, in fact, are for a 
journey through Macedonia ; and I shall, it may be, stop 
with you I may even stay through the winter that you 
may start me on my journey in whatever direction I may 
be going next. I have changed my mind, you see, about 
looking in on you in the course of my journey to Mace- 
donia. The fact is, I want, when I do come, to make a 
long stay with you, if the Lord permit me. I shall be 
staying in Ephesus, however, until Pentecost, because a 
wide door, full of opportunities for work, has opened 
there before me, and many are they who are trying to 
shut it in my face. 

If Timotheus comes, let there be no attempts at over- 
bearing him. He is as efficient a labourer in our Lord's 
work as I am. There must be no slights put upon him. 
When he has to leave, see him off like friends, so 
that he may come on to me ; for I shall be expecting him 
along with some other brothers. With respect to our 
brother Apollos I pressed him very hard to visit you 
with the brothers ; but he had finally made up his mind 
not to come this time. He will, however, come when he 
can find a fitting opportunity. 

Be wakeful sentinels ; stand firm at your post of faith ; 
be brave, strong soldiers. Let all your actions be done 
in a loving spirit. 

I beg you, my brothers you know the household of 
Stephanas, how they were the first sheaf of the harvest 
of Achaia, and how they laid themselves out for the re- 
lief of necessitous believers I beg you to pay all defer- 
ence to these and such as these, to every one, in fact, 
who helps us in our work and toils like us. Glad have 
I been to see the faces of Stephanas and Fortunatus 
and Achaicus. They have fully made up for my de- 
privation of you. They have cheered my spirit, as they 

62 Letters of St. Paul. xvi, 17 24. 

did yours. Therefore accord full recognition to such as 

The churches of Asia send you their greeting. Aquila 
and Prisca salute you heartily in the love of our Lord, 
as does the congregation that meets at their house. All 
the brothers send you their greeting. Greet one another 
with the kiss of consecration. 

This final salutation is in my own handwriting 

If there be any one who loves not the Lord, accursed 

be he ! 

The Coming of the Lord is at hand ! 
The grace of our Lord, of Jesus the Messiah, be with 

My love be with you all, in the Presence of Messiah 

Jesus. Paul. 



ST. Paul left Ephesus soon after the despatch of his first 
letter, his departure being possibly precipitated by the 
riot in the theatre. He sailed to Macedonia : there, 
probably at Philippi, he awaited with trembling anxiety 
the return of Titus, whom he had sent to Corinth, with 
or soon after the bearers of that letter, invested with his 
authority to enforce its admonitions. His heart misgave 
him lest he had written too severely : he may have feared 
lest the mischief had gone so far that the church as a 
whole might champion the cause of the offender against 
morality, and fling off allegiance to its founder. 1 Titus' 
arrival set his fears at rest. There had been submission 
and reform ; and there was a general tone of repentant 
affection towards him. Now, however, a new danger had 
arisen. The ultra-Jewish party in the church, reinforced 
by emissaries from Jerusalem (who made much of the 

i. There are many scholars who hold that Paul's First Letter, 
and, as some think, even a personal visit which followed it, were so 
far unsuccessful, that he had to write an intermediate letter. Some 
of them regard this as lost, while others find it in II Cor. x xiii, 
maintaining that this is the true Second Letter, and that what pre- 
cedes it is really the Third Letter. 

64 Letters of St. Paul. i, i 2. 

fact that they bore credentials from the heads of the church 
there), were directly assailing his authority. They assert- 
ed that he had no right to the status of an apostle ; he 
had never been a companion of the Lord, had never even 
seen Him ; he had brought with him no credentials from 
the true apostles at Jerusalem, though he was never back- 
ward in self-commendation ; he himself dared not claim 
the prerogatives (of free maintenance in particular) of 
the genuine apostles ; he was insincere, shifty, and 
pusillanimous, since he had twice promised to visit the 
church, and had shrunk from doing so, showing that, 
though he might write vigorous letters, he dared not 
come in person ; if he did, he would be impotent against 
opposition ; he was, instead, intriguing with his own 
partisans by means of private letters ; his plan of an alms- 
fund was but a device for getting hold of the money which 
he had so ostentatiously declined to accept for his own use. 
It was absolutely necessary to meet these charges 
once and for all : this could only be done by speaking of 
himself and his work in a manner most hateful to Paul's 
Christian humility. It had, however, to be done ; and 
hence this letter is commonly referred to as his Apologia 
pro vita sud. 


Paul appointed through God's will an apostle of 
Messiah Jesus and Timotheus the brother, 

to the church of God which is in Corinth, 
and, with them, to all believers in all Achaia : 

Grace and heart-peace descend on you from 
the presence of God our Father, and from our Lord, 
Jesus the Messiah. 

i, 3 12. Second Letter to the Corinthians. 65 

Praise be to God, the Father of our Lord, of Jesus 
the Messiah, the Father of Compassions, the God of all 
Comfort ! Blessed be He who in all my affliction com- 
forts me so perfectly that I have comfort to spare for all 
afflicted ones even the same comfort with which God 
is comforting me. Ay, though in overflowing measure 
Messiah's own sufferings are reproduced in me, yet, 
through Messiah's presence, overflowing is the measure 
of my comfort too. If, then, I am afflicted, it is all to 
win comfort for you, salvation for you : if I am comforted, 
this also is to win comfort for you. And the effect of 
this will be seen in your patient endurance of suffering, 
just such sufferings as I too have to bear. Thus my 
hope for you is unwavering ever, knowing as I do, that, 
as surely as you share my sufferings, so surely shall you 
share my consolation. And these sufferings are very 
real. I do not want you, brothers mine, to underrate 
the afflictions that assailed me in Asia : I really was 
crushed beneath them, excessively so, beyond my power 
of endurance. I absolutely despaired of life. Yes, and 
when I asked ' What shall be the end ? ' the whispered 
answer of my heart was ' Death ! ' This taught me to 
rely no more on my own strength, but upon God alone ; 
for He can raise up men actually dead. Yes, He it was 
who delivered me from a death so imminent, and will go 
on delivering me. Ay, I have rested my hope on Him, 
the hope that He will still deliver me as He will, so long 
as you add to mine your earnest prayers for me. So shall 
thanksgiving for my preservation be rendered by multi- 
tudes, thanksgiving for the gracious deliverance granted 
me in answer to the prayers of a multitude of persons. 

I think I have some claim on your intercessions : for, 
if there is one boast I can make and my conscience 
bears witness to its truth it is this, that my relations 
with the world have been marked by purity and God- 

66 Letters of St. Paul. i, 12 22. 

given sincerity, relying, not on worldly policy, but on the 
grace of God ; and this especially applies to my relations 
with you. Sincerity, I repeat ! not the duplicity with 
which I am charged. It is simply untrue that I send 
any private communications. The only letters which I 
write are those which you read out to the congregation . 
ay, and which you do recognise as the expression of my 
mind, and will never cease, I hope, to recognise as such 
just as, in fact, you have (some of you, at any rate) 
recognised that I am yours, that you have a right to be 
proud of me, as I shall be of you in the Day of the 
Coming of our Lord Jesus. So sure did I feel of this, 
that I meant to visit you before any one else that so 
you might have, twice over, the pleasure of seeing me 
to pass through you on my journey to Macedonia, and 
again to visit you on my return -journey from Macedonia, 
and thus to be seen off by you when starting for 
Judaea. Well, this was my intention : am I then to be 
accused of fickleness of purpose, because it was not 
carried out ? Dare you say that, when I make arrange- 
ments, I make them like shifty men of the world, with 
the intention of changing ' I will ' into ' I will not,' if it 
suits me ? By all the faithfulness of God I swear it, my 
utterances to you never waver between Yes and No just 
as in the proclamation in your midst of God's son Jesus 
as the Messiah by myself, by Silvanus, and by Timotheus, 
there was never any wavering between affirmation and 
negation no ! by the inspiration of God it was ever one 
consistent affirmative. The same is true of all the prom- 
ises of God : they are affirmed by His ' I will,' ay, and 
they are sealed by His ' Amen ' ; and so God is glorified 
through our faith in His promises. Yes, it is God who 
gives us, and you too, an assured standing in the life in 
His Anointed, as it was He who anointed us to reign with 
Him. Ay, and He set upon us the seal that marks us His 

i, 22 ii, 9. Second Letter to the Corinthians. 67 

own, and He has given us the presence of His Spirit in 
our hearts, an earnest of what He yet will give. 

I appeal to God He shall witness for me I stake my 
life upon the truth of what I say it was purely from a 
wish to spare you pain that I relinquished my original in- 
tention of coming to Corinth. Do not misunderstand me : 
I do not, in respect of your faith, regard my relation to you 
as that of a master, whose coming is to be dreaded by his 
disorderly slaves ; no, I want to be your helper ; I want 
to gladden you. As to your faith that is between you 
and God, and by it alone are you kept from falling. 

II. But for my own sake I had resolved that my 
second visit to you should not be an occasion of grief. 
If I am to be grieving jyott, whence am / to look for joy, 
when the very person I am grieving is my one source of 
joy ? That is why I send this letter, instead of paying 
my visit. I do not wish to come and feel only grief 
where I ought to feel only joy. I depend on you so utter- 
ly that I feel sure that the joy of you all depends on mine. 
Ah, it was with tears that welled up from a heart sorely 
crushed and anguish-cramped that I wrote to you as I 
did ! It was not, oh not that you might be grief-stricken 
that I wrote, but that you might know how I love you 
with an overflowing love ! 

As for him who was the cause of all this grief, it is not 
I whom he has grieved, but all of you in some measure, 
that is, for I do not wish to be too severe. Well, now I 
think that the offender has been sufficiently punished by 
censure passed upon him by the great majority of the 
church. Therefore, instead of keeping him under the 

in, you may well forgive him now yes, even comfort 
lim, lest he, in his present attitude of mind, should 
sink into despair through excess of grief. Therefore I 
of you to give him full assurance of renewed love. 
For my main object in writing is attained, which was to 

68 Letters of St. Paul. ii, 9 iii, 2. 

test you, and to make sure whether you are prepared to 
render utter obedience. When you, after properly con- 
demning an offence, are then disposed to pardon it, so 
am I. Whatever forgiveness I have extended when I 
have done so has been for your sake : I do it as in the 
presence of Messiah. We are not ignorant of the de- 
vices by which Satan would steal away one of our flock : 
we must not be overreached by him. 

Do not think that this separation from you has been 
easy for me. When I arrived in the Troad to proclaim 
the Glad-tidings of Messiah, where by the Lord's hand a 
door was opened to me, my very soul was in a fever ot 
unrest, through disappointment at not finding that Titus 
my brother had returned from you. I had to bid good- 
bye to them, and to move on to Macedonia. Not that 
my going was of my own choosing : no, thank God, it is 
He who everywhere leads me, leads me in Messiah's 
triumph-procession. By me He wafts abroad through 
every land the knowledge of Jesus, the incense of his tri- 
umphal march. Yes, I am Messiah's incense, upwafted 
to God in the sight of all, alike of those who are going 
to deliverance, and of those who are going to destruction. 
To the latter, it is the fore-smell of death ; it ushers 
them on to their death : to the former, the fragrance of 
life ; it ushers them on to life. Ah ! who is really fit for 
so high an office ? Well, if I am not, I at least am not 
as too many are trying to make a petty profit out of 
the message of God ? No : in utter sincerity, as one 
commissioned by God, I speak as in the very presence of 
God, as in union with Messiah. 

III. So I am ' again beginning my self-commendation,' 
am I ? Or do you seriously think that / require what 
my opponents find so necessary written credentials to 
introduce me to you, or similar credentials from you ? 
Credentials ! you, you are my credentials, written on 

iii, 2 14. Second Letter to the Corinthians. 69 

my very heart, there for all men to recognise and to read 
a letter manifestly written by Messiah, of which I am 
made the bearer written thereon, not with ink, but with 
the Spirit of the Living God, not, like Moses' Law, upon 
tablets of stone, but upon my heart's tablets, tablets of 
flesh. But it is our Messiah who makes me so confident 
of the validity of my mission, ay, confident in God's 
presence. Never think that I hold myself qualified to 
argue for the truth by my own native powers : no, all 
my qualifications come from God. He it is who has 
qualified me to be a dispenser of His New Covenant, 
which consists, not of written ordinances, but of a Spirit. 
The written ordinance denounces a death-penalty ; but 
the Spirit thrills with a new life. Yet if that administra- 
tion of death conveyed as it was in written ordinances 
and graven on stones was ushered in haloed with glory, 
so much so that the sons of Israel could not gaze fixedly 
at the face of Moses, because of the splendour irradiating 
his face a splendour which even then was fading how 
much more shall the Spirit's administration be haloed 
with glory ? If the administration of the death-sentence 
was a thing of glory, much more must the administration 
of righteousness be radiant with excess of glory. For 
that old covenant, glory-haloed as it was then, now has 
all its glory dimmed, when thus contrasted with the new 
transcendent glory. If that which was fading away 
passed out in splendour, much more shall that which ever 
abides be splendour-girt. 

Since, then, I grasp such a glorious hope, I am fear- 
lessly outspoken. I do not follow the example of Moses, 
who ' laid a veil over his face,' (Ex. 34, 33), in order that 
the sons of Israel might not gaze to the end on that 
fading splendour. Ah, but so dulled were their percep- 
tions, that they did not appreciate its significance : ay, 
and to this very day, at the reading of the Old Covenant, 

70 Letters of St. Paul. iii, 14 iv, 6. 

there lies the veil still, still unremoved they see not 
that in the Messiah this covenant is ever being done 
away. Yes, even to this day, all the while that Moses' 
Law is being read, the veil lies dark upon their hearts. 
But, soon as their heart turns to our Lord, that veil is 
stripped away from it. Well, but the Lord is one with 
His Spirit ; and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there 
too is emancipation from bondage to that Law. And so 

All of us, with face unveiled 
nf tije Gazing on the mirrored glory of our Lord, 
Cfjanfl*. Are hourly being transformed into the same like- 

From a mere reflected glory into an inherent 


As may well be, since it proceeds from the Lord, 
the Spirit. 

IV. Therefore, since I do hold this office, my unflinch- 
ing resolution must correspond to the mercy shown me 
in my conversion. I have renounced all underhand 
dealings things of shame ! I tread no paths of un- 
scrupulous cunning : I tamper not with God's message. 
No, by the plain utterance of the truth do I vindicate to 
every hearer's conscience my claim to be an apostle : as in 
God's presence I do it. And if the Glad-tidings as 
published by me be still obscured as with a veil, it is so 
only for those who are destruction-bound. Ah, it is 
another god, the god of this world, who has made blind 
the perceptions of these unbelievers, so that no ray 
lights them from the day-dawn of the Glad-tidings of 
Messiah's glory, of Messiah the Image of God. It is not 
myself that I herald forth : no, but the Messiah, Jesus 
our Lord. As for myself, I proclaim myself your bond- 
servant, for Jesus' sake. For it is the God who said, 
' Out of darkness shall light flame,' who has kindled a 

iv, 6 16. Second Letter to the Corinthians. 71 

flame in my heart, to make me a world's beacon of the 
knowledge of the glory of God as revealed in the face 
of Jesus the Messiah. 

A treasure of price is this message ; yet I bear it in a 
frail vessel of clay-ware, so proving that not from me, 
but from God is derived its all-prevailing efficacy. 

of On every hand hard-pressed am I yet not 
Crffiulatum. crushed ! 

In desperate plight am I yet not in despair ! 
Close followed by pursuers yet not abandoned 

by Him ! 
Beaten to the earth yet never destroyed ! 

Evermore bearing about in my body 
The imminence of such a death as Jesus died, 
So that the life too of Jesus may be shown 


In this body of mine. 
Always, always, while yet I live, 
Ami being handed over to death's doom 

For Jesus' sake ! 
So that in this mortal flesh of mine may be shown 

forth also 
The very life of Jesus. 

So then while death is wearing down my frame, a new 
life is animating you. Yet, since I have that same spirit of 
faith exemplified in the words, ' I believed, therefore spake 
I,' I also believe, therefore I too speak. I know that He 
who raised from the dead our Lord, Jesus, shall also 
raise me from the dead along with Jesus, and shall set 
me in His presence, and you too. All my sufferings 
have come for your sake, in order that the divine favour, 
which so transcends all sufferings, may waken a whole 
chorus of thanksgiving, overflowing in praise, to the 
glory of God. Therefore we never flinch, but 

72 Letters of St. Paul. iv, 16 v, 6. 

%gmn Even though our outward man be wasting away, 
of tf)e Yet our inward man is being day by day renewed. 
$0mr For this our affliction , a light, a momentary burden , 
eternal. Is working out for us an eternal weight, 
Transcending all measure, of glory. 

We fix our earnest gaze, not on things seen, 

But on the things unseen ; 
For things seen are but for a fleeting moment, 
But for all eternity are the things unseen. 
V. Ah yes, we know that if this mere tent, 

Our habitation on earth, be taken down, 
A solid building, reared by God, we have still, 
A habitation no hands fashioned ever, 

A home eternal, in the Heavens. 
And while yet we are in this tent, we are sighing sore, 

Ever longing, longing, to overdrape us 
With the mantle of that mansion which is of 

If, indeed, at His Coming we shall be found 

Still in flesh arrayed, and not disembodied : 

Ay, we who yet must dwell in that tent 

Are sighing, burdened sore. 
It is not that we would fain be disarrayed of the 

mortal body, 

Nay, but rather overdraped with the immortal, 
That mortality may be drowned in the sea of Life. 
Yea, and He who for this very consummation hath 
fashioned us is God, 

God, who has given us His Spirit 
As the earnest of the fulfilment of His promise. 

Therefore are we ever of good heart : 
We know that, while for us this body is our 

We are exiles from our Lord ; 

v, 7 1 5- Second Letter to the Corinthians. 73 

For by faith we guide our steps, by no clear 

vision yet : 
Ay, of good heart are we, and are right glad 

To be exiled from the body, 
And to come to the Home-land, to the pres- 
ence of our Lord. 
Therefore our one ambition is 
Be we in that Home-land, be we exiles yet 

Still to be well-pleasing unto Him. 
For we have all to stand, stripped of all disguise, 

Before Messiah's bar, 
That each may receive the recompense 
For deeds whereof the body was the instrument, 
Yea, even according to that which he hath done, 
Be it good, be it evil. 

Therefore, because I know how dread shall be that 
Coming of the Lord, I am pleading now with men. My 
heart's honesty lies open to God's eye ; yet I trust, I do 
trust that it lies open before your convictions too. No! 
I am not ' once more standing sponsor for myself to you ' ; 
but I am now giving you fair cause for boasting of your 
part in me. I want you to be armed with a reply to 
those opponents who have but outward show whereof to 
vaunt, not the heart's sincerity. If I have been as these 
men say ' beside myself,' it was with enthusiasm for 
God's cause : if I am as I maintain in my sober senses, 
it is that I may the better do you service. We order not 
our own lives, for 

*9ynm The love of our Messiah constraineth us : 
of tfje For to this conclusion have we come 

c&) One died for the sake of all : in Him then did all 
i,tfc. die. 

Yea, and for all did He die, 

74 Letters of St. Paul, v, 15 21. 

That the living should live no more for them- 

But for Him who died for them, 

And rose from the dead. 
So from henceforth we appraise no man by 

human standards ; 
Ay, and if we have fixed our thoughts upon 

Messiah's humanity, 
No more do we so think of Him. 
Whoso hath passed into that New Life of Messiah, 
He is created anew : 
The old life has passed away ; 
Lo, it has become new ! 

And of all this God is the source. He reconciled me 
to Himself by the mediation of Messiah ; and He has 
assigned to me the office of this reconciliation, the 
Charter whereof is 



And the message of this reconciliation He entrusted 
to me. I am acting, therefore, as Messiah's ambassador- 
It is as though God were pleading with you by my 
mouth. As Messiah's representative, I implore you, be 
reconciled to God. 




v, 21 vi, 9. Second Letter to the Corinthians. 75 


VI. Yes, I am God's fellow- worker ; and I implore 
you to accept this His grace, and to accept it not in 
vain. He says, ' IN A TIME OF ACCEPTANCE HAVE i 


I HELPED THEE ' (Is. 49, 8) that time of gracious 
acceptance is now ! Behold, now is your day of deliver- 
ance ! While thus I plead, I take care to give no cause 
of spiritual hindrance to any man, that no reproach may 
attach to the discharge of my office. No, in all respects 
I try to prove the validity of my claim to be a steward of 
God's bounty 

In many-sided endurance 
of tfje Amid afflictions, sore straits, and priv- 

8?eraKr ations, 

of Amid scourgings, prison-cells, and riots, 

j^albarum. Amid toils, night-vigils, and fastings : 
In purity, in spiritual illumination, 
In long-suffering, in kindness, 
In the Holy Spirit's presence, in love un- 
In uttering the Message of Truth, in using 

the might of God : 
Bearing the sword of righteousness in my right hand, 

the shield on my left ; 

Compassed with glory and infamy, with praise and 
defaming ; 

Branded as a deceiver vindicated as true ; 
Ignored by men recognised by God ; 
Ever at point to die yet lo, I live on ! 
Chastened by suffering, yet never done to 
death ; 

76 Letters of St. Paul. vi, 10 17. 

Sorrowing ever, yet evermore glad ; 
Poor myself, yet bestowing riches on thou- 

sands ; 

Having nothing, yet holding all things in sure 
possession ! 

Corinthians, Corinthians ! to you my lips are unlocked, 
my heart is opened wide. Not, oh not in me is there any 
narrowness : the narrowness is in you, in your own 
hearts. Requite my love I appeal to you as my children 
open wide your hearts too. 

Yet open not your hearts in laxity of tolerance for sin. 
Do not contract mismated alliances with unbelievers : 

at What fellowship hath righteousness with 
Consecration. lawlessness ? 

What common meeting-ground have light 

and darkness ? 
What concord can be between Messiah and 

Belial ? 
What partnership can be between believers 

and unbelievers ? 
What compact between a temple of God 

and idols ? 
For we, we are a temple of the Living 

God : of us God said, 
' I will dwell in their midst, I will walk 

among them, 
And I will be their God, and my people 

shall they be.' 
Therefore, ' Come out from among them, 

and sever yourselves, 
Saith the Lord, 
And cleave not to the unclean thing ; 

vi, 17 -vii, 9. Second Letter to the Corinthians. 77 

And I will accept yon, and I will be to you a 


And ye shall be to me as sons and daughters, 
Saith the Lord, the Almighty.' 

VII. Since, then, we grasp these promises, my dear 
ones, let us cleanse ourselves from all defilement, alike of 
the body and the Spirit, and try, in the fear of God, to 
make our consecration perfect. 

As I have said, make room in your hearts for me. Not 
one of you did I ever wrong, not one did 1 betray to his 
ruin ; not one did I overreach. I do not mean this as a re- 
proach, as though your treatment of me had been differ- 
ent. No, I have said already that you are nested in my 
heart ; with you I mean to live, with you to die. To 
you I speak with utter unreserve : right proud am I of 
you : with comfort am I filled brim-full ; I am overflow- 
ing with joy, despite all my affliction. 

I may well speak of affliction : when I came to Mace- 
donia, this frame of mine had no respite ; everywhere 
was affliction. I was beset by assaults from foes with- 
out, was harassed by inward misgivings. But He who 
comforts the sinking hearts, even God, comforted me by 
the arrival of Titus ; and not only by his arrival, but also 
by his account of the comfort he had found in his 
intercourse with you. He told me of your yearning 
affection, of your expressions of sorrow, of your re- 
awakened earnestness in my cause, so that I was more 
gladdened still. Ah, though I did pain you by the 
tone of my letter, I do not regret it now ! I admit that 
I was inclined to regret it, for I see clearly that that 
letter really pained you, though it were but for a time 
no, I am glad now, not because you were pained, but 
because your pain led to repentance. For in your 
pain you turned to God, so that I could not find it in my 

78 Letters of St. Paul. vii, 9 viii, 2. 

heart to punish you now. The grief that turns to God 
breeds repentance which leads to deliverance from evil 
a thing never to be regretted. It is that hopeless sorrow 
of the heathen world that breeds death. For, observe, 
in this very instance in which your grief turned to God, 
what earnestness it bred in you, what eagerness to clear 
yourselves, as a church, of all complicity, what indigna- 
tion at the sin, what dread of my severity, yet what long- 
ing for my presence, what fervour, what determination to 
punish the offender ! On every count you have established 
your innocence of complicity, as a church, in this affair. 
Well then, though I did write in this strain to you, it 
was not done primarily to secure the punishment of the 
offender no, nor yet for the reinstatement in his rights 
of the wronged one. No, it was mainly in order that 
your readiness to champion my authority might be made 
plain to yourselves, as in the very presence of God. 
This was why I was so relieved at the issue ; and, be- 
sides my feeling of relief, I was very greatly, was most 
exceedingly gladdened to see the joy of Titus ; for I can 
perceive that his spirit has drunk refreshment from you 
all. Whatever boast I have made to him about you, I 
have not had to blush for it. No, just as all I have ever 
said to you was said in truth, so also my boasting of you 
in Titus' presence has turned out to be simple truth. 
Yes, and his heart yearns and glows toward you, when- 
ever he calls to mind your universal submissiveness, the 
awe, the trembling eagerness, with which you received 
him. Glad am I that on every point I am now reassured 
with respect to you. 

VIII. Now I want to tell you, my brothers, of God's 
gracious gift, bestowed by Him among the churches of 
Macedonia the gift of generosity. They have been 
tested to the uttermost by affliction, yet their joy has 
throughout been overbrimming : in spite of their poverty, 

viii, 2 13. Second Letter to the Corinthians. 79 

their deep poverty, it has overflowed in a very opu- 
lence of unselfishness. They contributed I can bear 
witness to that up to the very limits, nay, beyond the 
limits, of their power, and that too unasked ; and with 
earnest entreaty they implored me that they might have 
the privilege of bearing a part in supplying the needs of 
the members of the church in Jerusalem. Ay, and they 
went beyond all my hopes, in that they first gave their 
very selves to the Lord and to me too, in accordance 
with the will of God. In consequence of this, I have 
been begging Titus to put the crown of completion on 
this generous movement of yours, since its inception was 
due to him. Full you are to overflowing of every other 
grace of faith, of eloquence, of spiritual illumination, 
of enthusiasm in every form, of the love that leaps from 
your hearts to mine ah then, you shotild overflow with 
this grace also ! I have no thought of dictating to you ; 
no, but I point you to the example of the enthusiasm of 
others, and I do want to prove by trial the genuineness 
of your love. You can appreciate the gracious kindness 
of our Lord, of Jesus the Messiah : He was so rich, 
yet all for your sakes He became so poor, in order that 
you, you, might through that poverty of His become 
rich. I am but putting the matter as it appears to me : 
still, this is surely the only course worthy of you, con- 
sidering that it was you who first set the example, not 
only of carrying the relief-scheme into action, but also 
of accepting the idea enthusiastically and that was a 
year ago ! Well now, do complete the execution, so 
that the completion of the design (in proportion to your 
means, that is) may be on a scale worthy of the enthusi- 
asm with which you adopted it. For, given the previous 
condition of eager willingness, an execution in proportion 
to one's means, not out of all proportion to them, is ac- 
ceptable to God. I am not urging this that others may 

8o Letters of St. Paul. viii, 13 ix, i. 

be relieved of their liability, and unfair pressure put upon 
you; but upon the principle of fair distribution of the 
burden. Just now your abundance supplies their lack, in 
order that some day their abundance may supply your 
lack, so that a fair balance may be struck, as in the pre- 
cedent recorded in Scripture, ' HE THAT GATHERED MUCH 

TOO LITTLE.' (Ex. 16, 18). 

Thanks be to God, who is putting the same eagerness 
to help you into Titus' heart as into mine. He not only 
welcomed my proposal, but was himself so much in 
earnest, that he has needed no bidding to depart hence 
to you. In company with him I have sent that brother 
whose fame as a herald of the Glad-tidings has spread 
through all the churches. Nay more, he has been 
actually elected by the churches as my fellow-traveller, 
to be with me at the distribution of the bounty of which 
I am treasurer, thus to subserve the glory of God, and 
to put me in better heart for the task. For I have to be 
on my guard against this, that no one may have any ex- 
cuse for carping at my administration of the generous 
gift of which I am treasurer. I must be careful of my 
good name, not only in the sight of God, but also in the 
sight of men. With these two I have despatched a 
third brother, of whose earnestness I have again and 
again made proof in many matters. He is, I may say, 
more earnest than ever now, through his perfect confi- 
dence in you. Well, if the credentials of Titus be de- 
manded, say that he is my partner, that he helps in the 
work I am doing for you : as for those of our other two 
brothers, say that they are delegates from the churches, 
that they manifest the glory of Messiah. Show to these 
in the sight of the churches the reality of your love : 
show what good grounds I had for boasting of you. 

IX. Of course, as regards giving or withholding relief 

ix, I ii. Second Letter to the Corinthians. 81 

from the members of the church in Jerusalem, it is super- 
fluous for me to reopen the question in this letter. I have 
no doubt of your eager willingness : that is why I boast 
of you to the Macedonians here, telling them, ' Achaia 
has been ready for a year past ' : and your enthusiasm 
has stimulated more than yourselves. Well, I have sent 
on the brothers (for fear lest my boast of you may be 
stultified in this matter) to ensure that you may be (as I 
kept saying that you were) quite ready with the contri- 
bution. Suppose some Macedonian friends were to 
come down with me on my next visit, and find you had 
nothing ready how ashamed I should be (to say noth- 
ing of yourselves) in face of the hollowness of this boast- 
ing ! Hence I have thought it absolutely necessary to 
request our brothers to visit you in advance, and to com- 
plete in good time the collection of that long-promised 
bounty of yours, so that it may be really ready and let 
it be the maximum that generosity can bestow, not the 
minimum that parsimony can spare. Bear in mind the 
saying, ' Grudging sowing makes grudging harvest, and 
bounteous sowing makes bounteous harvest.' Let each 
man give according to his heart's choice, not regretting 
his gift, as if it were wrung from him, for ' It is the cheer- 
ful giver that God loves.' Ay, and God is able to lavish 
every gracious gift upon you, so that you, always possess- 
ing abundance of everything, may lavishly contribute to 
every good undertaking. So the blessing of the Good 
Man in Scripture will apply to you ' HE HATH FLUNG 


who supplies ' seed to the sower, and bread for human 
food,' shall supply seed to you nay, shall multiply your 
store, and shall augment the harvest-yield of your right- 
eousness. So, as I said, you will be enriched with every- 
thing, till your large-hearted generosity wakes a chorus 

82 Letters of St. Paul. ix, n x, 7. 

of thanksgiving to God from those who receive your 
bounty through my hands. The rendering of this service 
has a twofold bearing : it not only fully supplies the 
necessities of your brother-believers, but it also overflows 
in a flood of gratitude to God, the thanksgiving of all 
those far-off friends. For they, in presence of the proof 
you have given of it, in this service to them, will be 
praising God for the obedience to the law of love which 
has accompanied your acceptance of the Glad-tidings of 
Messiah, and for your whole-hearted liberality to them 
and to all needy ones. And by their prayers for you they 
will be expressing their yearning affection towards you, 
kindled by the transcendent grace of God that is resting 
on you. Thanks be to God for this His gift, precious 
beyond description ! 

X. But, to return to the subject of my own attitude 
to you: I, Paul I, who am of lowly demeanour when 
in your midst, but, when at a distance from you, am 
fearlessly outspoken, by all the meekness and gentle- 
ness of Messiah I make a personal appeal to you. I beg 
you not to drive me to act, when I do visit you, with that 
fearless decision with which I am fully prepared to con- 
front certain men who account me as one invested with 
no more than human powers. Very human as I am, I 
do not fight with merely human weapons. No, the wea- 
pons with which I war are not weapons of mere flesh and 
blood, but, in the strength of God, they are mighty 
enough to raze all strongholds of our foes. I can batter 
down bulwarks of human reason, I can scale every crag- 
fortress that towers up bidding defiance to the true 
knowledge of God. I can make each rebel purpose my 
prisoner-of-war, and bow it into submission to Messiah. 
I wait in readiness to punish all the disaffected remnant, 
as soon as your obedience, as a church, is fully secured. 
Have you eyes for the outward semblance only ? If 

x, 7 16. Second Letter to the Corinthians. 83 

there is any one who has the assurance to style himself 
as ' of Messiah's party,' let him think again, let him reflect 
that, whatever part he has in Messiah, I have as much. 
Ay, even if I be tempted to go to extravagant lengths in 
vaunting my authority it was our Lord who invested 
me with it, to build up your church, not (like my op- 
ponents) to break it down I shall not have to blush for 
exceeding the truth. Do not let it be imagined that I 
am trying to scare you by hectoring letters. I know my 
opponents say, ' Oh, as for his letters, they are severe 
and vigorous ; but, when he comes in person, what is 
he but a weakling, and his rebukes who heeds them ? ' 
Let him who speaks in this strain make no mistake ! 
however strong may be the language of these letters 
written from a distance, no less strong will I be in action, 
when I stand among you. I cannot degrade myself by 
stooping to their level, by comparing my claims with 
those of some who stand sponsors for themselves ! They 
measure their own worth by a standard of their own : 
they compare themselves with themselves fools that 
they are ! But I 7 do not vaunt of prerogatives beyond 
my legitimate province. I confine myself within the 
limits of the sphere of operations allotted to me by God 
and that province certainly included my mission to 
you. I am not, I repeat, straining to overstep the limits 
of my province, as though I had no legitimate mission 
to you. I pressed on till I reached you I was the first 
to do so bearing the Glad-tidings of Messiah. I am 
not the man to filch the fruits of another's toils, and 
then boast of my gains. No ! but I do still cherish the 
hope that, as your faith goes on growing, I may, while 
in Corinth, be invested with the very high honour and 
I shall still be within my legitimate sphere of operations 
of bearing onward the Glad-tidings to districts still 
further beyond you. But, in any case, / shall not tres- 

84 Letters of St. Paul. x, 16 xi, g. 

pass on another man's field of work, and then boast of 
results achieved ere ever 1 came on the scene. If a man 
must be boasting, ' LET HIM MAKE HIS BOAST OF THE 
LORD'S FAVOUR.' (Jer. 9, 24). That man's claim is 
proved, not who accredits himself, but who is accredited 
by the Lord. 

XI. I trust you will bear awhile with this sort of 
talk on my part it is foolish, I know. Ah yes ! I feel 
that you do bear with me. I speak thus, because I am 
jealous in my love for you a jealousy in God's cause. 
I betrothed you to one husband exclusively : I meant to 
present the church of Corinth to Messiah as a pure 
virgin-bride. But now O, I dread lest, as the serpent 
by his cunning deluded Eve, your thoughts may yet be 
corrupted into forsaking the whole-hearted purity which 
yearns to Messiah alone. There is every reason why 
you should bear with me, if it be true that this inter- 
loper, of whom I hear, is proclaiming another type of 
Jesus from him whom I proclaimed, or if you are being 
invited to receive a different Spirit such as you never 
received through me, or an opposition Glad-tidings, such 
as you did not accept from me. Well, as to my 
credentials : I am, as I estimate my claims, not a 
whit inferior to the Jerusalem apostles the apostles 
par excellence. Even though I be (as some aver) un- 
tutored in rhetoric, at least I am not so in spiritual 
illumination. No ! I have in every way made that 
plain to your church in all your congregations. Or 
did I, forsooth, perpetrate a wrong in humiliating myself 
that you might be uplifted I mean, in my publishing to 
you God's Glad-tidings free of cost to yourselves ? 1 
actually accepted from other churches the cost of my 
maintenance I felt as if I were robbing them ! so as 
to be able to minister to you. When, during my stay 
at Corinth, I actually lacked the necessaries of life, even 

xi, 9 21. Second Letter to the Corinthians. 85 

then I would not clog any of you with my maintenance. 
No, it was the brothers that came from Macedonia who 
fully supplied my necessities. So I kept myself all 
along, and will keep myself, from becoming a burden 
upon you. As surely as Messiah's truth dwells in me, 
so surely shall my mouth not be stopped from making 
this boast of independence, in any district of Achaia. 
Why is this ? Because I do not love you ? God knows 
I do ! No, as I am acting I will continue to act, on 
purpose to cut the ground from under the feet of those 
who long to secure a vantage-ground against me. I 
mean to force them, in their arrogant boasting, to meet 
me on equal terms. These men, I tell you, are really 
false apostles, impostors, creatures who masquerade as 
Messiah's missionaries. Don't say, ' The thing is in- 
credible ' : why, Satan himself is wont to masquerade as 
an angel of light. What wonder, then, if these, who 
are doing his work, masquerade as servants of righteous- 
ness ? Their end shall correspond to their deeds ! 

I resume and let no one conclude that I have lost my 
wits, because I talk in this strain. Nay, but if you can- 
not help thinking so, why then, give me an audience if 
only as to a witless man ! so that I may, following my 
opponents' example, indulge in a little boasting of my 
own. In talking so, I am not speaking by inspiration 
from our Lord, but, so to speak, in pure witlessness so 
hollow a thing does this boasting seem. Still, since all 
these emissaries from Jerusalem are boasting in such very 
human fashion, I will meet them on their own ground, I 
also am going to make my boast. You are so very wise, 
that you can afford to extend good-humoured tolerance 
to the witless. Indeed, you seem to put up with it when 
people like these interlopers make you their slaves, eat 
up your substance, entrap you, assume arrogant airs, ay, 
smite you on the face ! I call it disgraceful that you 

86 Letters of St. Paul. xi, 21 33. 

should submit to such treatment from them, as though I 
refrained only through weakness ! Still, if any of them 
is disposed to take high ground imbecile talk is this ! 
I can take high ground too. Are these men Hebrews ? 
Well, so am I. Are they sons of Israel? So am I. 
Are they Abraham's seed ? So am I. Are they ' ser- 
vants of Messiah ? ' how insane is such talk ! I am too, 
and far more so than they. In toils I have immeasur- 
ably surpassed them, in imprisonments immeasurably ; 
in endurance of scourging there is no comparison. Many 
a time have I been face to face with death. From the 
Jews alone I have five times received the nine-and-thirty 
stripes. Three times have I been beaten with the Roman 
rods. Once I suffered stoning : three times have I been 
shipwrecked : for a whole night and day have I drifted 
on the fathomless sea. I have been incessantly travel- 
ling ; have been exposed to perils from rivers in flood, to 
perils from bandits, to perils from my countrymen the 
Jews, to perils from the heathen, to perils in the city, to 
perils in lonely places, to perils on the sea, to perils from 
traitors disguised as fellow-believers. I have endured 
toil and travail, sleepless nights ay, often ! hunger and 
thirst, fastings yes, many a time cold and nakedness. 
And besides all the rest, there is the daily haunting insis- 
tence of anxiety for all the churches. Who is there that 
has shrinking scruples, but I share his misgivings ? Who 
is there that is made to stumble and fall, but I am aflame 
with indignation ? Nay then, if I must be boasting, it 
is of instances of my own frailty that I will boast. God, 
the Father of our Lord Jesus, He who is blessed for 
evermore, knows that I am not paltering with the truth. 
Here is an instance : In Damascus the governor under 
king Aretas had the city-gates guarded on purpose to 
arrest me. I had actually to be lowered through the 
window of a chamber-on-the-wall in a basket (little 

xi, 33 xii, 10. Second Letter to the Corinthians. 87 

dignity was there !), and so slipped through his fingers. 

XII. I am driven to boast it really is not seemly 
still, I will pass on to a worthier subject, visions and rev- 
elations vouchsafed me by our Lord. I know a man who 
but all this happened fourteen years ago was once 
grasped by the power of Messiah whether he was still 
in the body, or rapt from the body, I do not know : that 
is known to God alone and, while in this state, he was 
caught up even to the Third Heaven. I know how that 
man, while in this state whether still in the body, or 
rapt from the body, I do not know : that is known to 
God alone was caught up into Paradise, and how he 
there heard utterances unutterable, beyond the power of 
man to shape into words. If this heavenly condition still 
continued, I might boast of it ; but about my own earthly 
self I will boast no more unless it be of instances of my 
frailty. Yet, if I should be for boasting still, 1 should be 
no witless braggart, for I should at any rate be speaking 
the truth. However, I forbear. I would not have any 
one form a loftier estimate of me, than what he gathers 
from actually seeing my deeds and hearing my speeches. 

Yes, and in the matter of these very revelations lest 
through the transcendent splendour of them I might be 
over-elated, there was given to me that which tortured 
me like a stake driven through my flesh, ' a messenger 
of Satan,' to buffet me, to keep me from being too much 
elated. Ay, and three times did I make supplication to 
the Lord with respect to this, asking that it might be re- 
moved from me. And still He answered me, ' Sufficient 
for thee is My grace : it is in the forge of infirmity that 
strength is wrought to perfection.' Most cheerfully, 
then, will I boast of my frailty, rather than murmur, so 
that over me, as a tent, may be spread the might of 
Messiah. And so I am contented in the midst of frailty, 
outrages, sore straits, persecutions, privations, all for 

88 Letters of St. Paul. xii, 10 18. 

Messiah's sake ; for it is just when I am frail that I am 
truly strong. 

I have been talking like some imbecile : it is you who 
have driven me to it. I had a right to expect that you 
would accredit me, for I have been not a whit inferior to 
the Great Apostles, the apostles par excellence even 
though I be ' of no account ! ' All the distinguishing 
marks, at any rate, of an apostle have appeared in my 
deeds wrought amongst you with such steadfast endur- 
ance in signs, in miracles, in mighty works. Wherein 
were you placed in a position of inferiority to the other 
churches unless it be in my not clogging you with my 
maintenance ? Pardon my unfair treatment of you in 
this respect ! 

Mark me, I am now for the third time making arrange- 
ments to visit you. I am not going to clog you with my 
maintenance. I am seeking, not your property, but your 
own selves. I do not expect you to maintain me, since 
it is not the part of the children to hoard up for their 
parents, but that of the parents to do so for their child- 
ren. And so I will most gladly spend all I have, ay, 
spend my own life for your souls' sake ! yes, even if 
through loving you only too much, I find myself the less 
loved by you. 

But I hear my opponents objecting ' Admitting that 
he has not burdened you with his maintenance, he has, 
like the cunning knave he is, entrapped you into paying 
a great deal more than if he had.' What ! among all 
the messengers I have sent to you, is there one through 
whom I have wrung fraudulent gain from you ? Titus, 
for instance I begged him to visit you, and with him 
I sent the other brother. Dare you say that Titus over- 
reached you ? Have not he and I shaped our conduct 
by the promptings of the same Spirit ? Have we not 
walked step for step together ? 

xii, ig xiii, 5. Second Letter to the Corinthians. 89 

You must be thinking all this time that I am on my 
defence before you. No ! it is in God's presence that I 
speak, in my devotion to Messiah. And it is all, my 
dear friends, for your sakes, and to promote your spiritual 
progress as a church. I dread, oh, I dread lest, when I 
do visit you, I may find a disappointing change in you 
ay, and that you may find a disappointing change in 
me ! I dread lest I may find among you dissensions, 
jealousy, stormy passions, intrigues, slanders, malicious 
gossip, inflated conceit, turbulence. I dread lest, when 
I come this next time, God may humiliate me at the 
sight of you. I dread lest I may have to mourn over 
many who have previously lived in sin, and yet have 
never repented of the uncleanness, the fornication, the 
wantonness which they have practised. 

XIII. This is the third time that I purpose to visit you. 

I have forewarned you, I forewarn you again as I did 
when I was for the second time among you, so I do now 
from a distance I warn those previous sinners, and all 
other offenders, that if I do come again, I will not spare. 
Since you will not be satisfied without tangible evidence 
that the Messiah speaks by my mouth, you shall have it. 
He is not weak in His relations to you : nay, He is ready 
to put forth His might in your midst. True, in human 
weakness He died on the cross ; but He now lives by the 
effluence of God's own power. I too, by my share in 
His humanity, am weak ; but I shall also share in His 
life, through the manifestation of God's power, in dealing 
with you. While there is time, make proof of yourselves, 
to see if you are really holding to the Faith : test your- 
selves. Is it possible that you do not recognise your 
own condition ? that you are not sure whether Jesus 
the Messiah is really among you ? as He must be, unless 

go Letters of St. Paul. xiii, 5 14. 

unless you have no proof of His presence among you. 
I do hope that you will be prepared to recognise that /, 
at all events, lack not proof of His presence in me. I am 
praying now, kneeling before God, that you may take no 
false step this time not in order that my claims may be 
triumphantly vindicated, but that you may, without 
compulsion, take the right course ay, though my arm be 
thereby paralysed ! For I am powerless to assail the 
truth : I am strong only in defence of the truth. Glad am 
I when I do find myself powerless to touch you, when I 
find you unassailable ; for all my prayer is for this, your 
complete reformation. That is why I write to you in 
this strain from a distance, to save myself from having, 
when 1 come to you, to deal severely with you in the 
exercise of that authority which our Lord has delegated 
to me to be employed, however, in the building up of 
the fabric of His church, not in breaking it down. 

Finally, my brothers, farewell. Let there be a perfect 
reformation among you : stimulate one another : live in 
unanimity and peace. And so God, the source of love 
and peace, shall be with you. Greet one another with 
the kiss of consecration. 

All the members of the church here greet you. 

May the grace of our Lord, of Jesus the Messiah, and 
the love of God, and the presence, shared by all, of the 
Holy Spirit, be with all of you. 


The Persons addressed. Galatia, a mountainous dis- 
trict in the centre of Asia Minor, was peopled by des- 
cendants of those hordes of Gauls who swept down upon 
Italy and Greece in the third century B.C. They had 
now for some 200 years been under the dominion of 
Rome, and with the original Celts were blended Italians, 
Greeks, and Jews. St. Paul, on his second missionary 
journey, was compelled to make a halt among them 
through severe bodily affliction, probably acute ophthal- 
mia, which causes not only intense pain, but also repul- 
sive disfigurement (ch. iv, 1315). This warm-hearted, 
impressible people received him with pity and sympathy, 
listened to his teaching with delight, and accepted the 
Gospel with enthusiasm. He paid them a brief visit in 
the course of his third journey, and found it necessary to 
give them some warnings ; but it was not till three years 
later, while he was staying at Corinth, that he heard of 
their serious lapse from the Faith. 1 

i. A Roman province known as Galatia (of which the original 
Galatia formed but the northern part) had been constituted in B.C. 
25, and extended far south, including Antioch in Pisidia, and Iconium, 
with Lystraand Derbe in Lycaonia. Some scholars hold that it was 
to the people of this southern portion of the new province that this 
letter was addressed, to the churches, in fact, founded in the first 
missionary journey. There is also much diversity of opinion as to 
the date oi the letter and the place where it was written. 

92 Letters of St. Paul. i, I 5. 

Reason why it "was written. During his absence, 
emissaries from Judaea came to them, proclaiming that 
there was no salvation except through conformity to the 
Mosaic Law and the Traditions of the Elders, laying 
special stress on the necessity for circumcision. Their 
preaching had such an extraordinary fascination for these 
impressible, fickle highlanders, naturally prone as they 
were to superstition, that the apostle can compare the 
effect on them to nothing but the spell of the evil-eye, 
from which a steadfast gaze at the crucified Saviour 
could and should have saved them. 

As in the letters to the Corinthians he met the attacks 
of the Judaisers on his personal character and influence, 
so in this letter, which may be called the first draught 
of the letter to the Romans, he meets their attack on 
the great principle of Justification by Faith, which he 
preached. He not only meets it, but carries the war 
into the enemy's country. 


Paul, an apostle, sent forth from no synod of men, 
ordained by no man, but by Jesus the Messiah, and by 
God our Father who raised Jesus from the dead I, and 
all the brothers who are with me, 

to the churches of Galatia 
Grace be bestowed on you, and peace 
withal, from God our Father, and from our Lord, from 
Jesus the Messiah, who yielded up Himself to die for our 
sins, in order to rescue us from this present evil age, in 
accordance with the will of Him who is our God and our 
Father too. To Him be all the glory ascribed through 
all the ages of ages. Amen. 

i, 6 17. Letter to the Galatians. 93 

I am simply amazed to find you so suddenly deserting 
Him who invited you to share the grace of Messiah, de- 
serting to what is in fact an opposition Glad-tidings, not 
an alternative one unless, indeed, we are to allow that 
these men carry any real weight, these men who are try- 
ing to unsettle you, and who would fain distort the Glad- 
tidings of Messiah into something different. I tell you, 
even if I even if an angel from heaven should come 
bearing to you a Glad-tidings at variance with that which 
I first proclaimed to you, let him be accursed ! I have 
said this before, I say it again now if any one is pro- 
claiming a message to you at variance with that which 
you first received, accursed be he ! Am I now as my 
enemies accuse me of doing waiting for man's approval, 
or for God's ? Am I angling for popularity ? No, if I 
still sought popularity with men, no bondservant of 
Messiah should I be. 

I must impress on you, my brothers, the distinctive 
feature of the Glad-tidings as I proclaimed it namely, 
its superhuman nature. It was not from man that / re- 
ceived it, nor by man that I was taught it : it came to 
me directly through a revelation given by Jesus the 
Messiah. You have heard of my career during the peri- 
od of my Judaism, how I persecuted the church of God 
atrociously, how I harried it. In my study and observ- 
ance of the Mosaic Law I outstripped many of my 
contemporaries in my nation. I was, in fact, an extreme 
fanatic in defence of the traditions of my fathers. But 
at last it pleased God who had already, from my very 
birth, set me apart from all men, and who by His grace 
called me to reveal His Son within my soul, so that I 
might proclaim among the Gentiles the Glad- tidings that 
tell of Him. 

Then, immediately, without submitting my purpose to 
any human being without even going up to Jerusalem 

94 Letters of St. Paul. i, 17 ii, 5. 

to meet those who were apostles before me I departed 
into Arabia, and thence returned to Damascus. After 
that three years later I did go up to Jerusalem, to 
make the acquaintance of Kephas. I stayed with him 
but a fortnight ; and not one of the other apostles did I 
even see, except James the brother of our Lord. Now 
in all I am telling you, mark me, I testify, as at the bar 
of God, that I am not lying. After that I went into the 
regions of Syria and Cilicia. So far my face was still 
unknown to the churches of Judaea that are in Messiah's 
kingdom : only they were constantly hearing, ' He who 
once used to persecute us is now proclaiming the Glad- 
tidings of the Faith which he once tried to ruin.' And 
so in me they found that for which to glorify God. 

II. Then but after the lapse of fourteen years I 
once more went up to Jerusalem along with Barnabas ; 
and I took with me Titus also. It was in obedience to a 
revelation that I went ; and I laid before the members of 
that church the lines on which I proclaim the Glad- 
tidings among the Gentiles. But this communication I 
made in a private conference, to their recognised leaders, 
to guard against the possibility of my past or present 
mission-work being discredited. 

And here I would say that it is not true that the cir- 
cumcision of Titus, who accompanied me (he is a Greek), 
was made an indispensable condition of their approval of 
my mission. As a matter of fact, the rite was not per- 
formed because it was made a party-question by those 
false brethren fraudulently foisted on the church men 
mean enough to insinuate themselves into our midst in 
order to play the spy upon our freedom from thraldom to 
the Mosaic Law, the freedom we possess by virtue of 
our life in Messiah, in Jesus. Their object was to effect 
our complete enslavement to that law. But not for one 
hour did I give way to them by yielding the submission 

ii, 5 14. Letter to the Galatians. 95 

they claimed. I took this uncompromising attitude on 
purpose that the true principles of the Glad-tidings 
might, in relation to you, remain unshaken. 

But from those who are of high reputation amongst 
them (their eminence in the church, however, whatever 
it was, is for me quite beside the question : God does 
not respect mere human dignity) to me, as I said, these 
influential leaders suggested no new line of action. Quite 
the contrary : when they perceived that I really had been 
entrusted with the proclamation of the Glad-tidings to 
the uncircumcised Gentiles, just as Peter was with that 
to the circumcised Jews, for God, whose informing 
power fitted Peter for the mission to the circumcised, 
fitted me also for that to the Gentiles, and when they 
recognised the grace bestowed on me, then James and 
Kephas and John, who had the reputation of being ' the 
pillars of the church,' gave to me and to Barnabas their 
right hands in token of partnership, in recognition of our 
message to the Gentiles, as of theirs to the circumcised. 
They stipulated only that we should remember their 
poor, the very thing which, unbidden, I was only too 
eager to do. 

Indeed, so far from their taking exception to my line of 
action, it was I who had to do so to theirs. When 
Kephas came to Antioch, I protested to his face against 
his conduct there, for it had been the subject of general 
condemnation. The facts were these before the arrival 
of certain emissaries from James, he used regularly to 
eat in company with the Gentiles. But, as soon as these 
men came, he proceeded to draw back, and to adopt an 
exclusive attitude, haunted as he was by fear of the 
circumcision party. Ay, and the other Jewish members 
of the church joined in his dissimulation in fact, even 
Barnabas was drawn away by their example of dissimu- 
lation. But, when I perceived that they were swerving 

96 Letters of St. Paul. ii, 14 20. 

from the straightforward path in relation to the true 
teaching of the Glad-tidings, then I spoke out to Kephas, 
it was at a public meeting, and said, ' If you, born 
Jew as you are, can live as you have been living as a 
Gentile, and not as a Jew, how dare you try now to force 
Gentiles to conform to Jewish ritual ? You and I are 
Jews by blood, and not " sinners of the Gentiles " ; yet 
we have been convinced that humanity, if not pronounced 
righteous through faith in Jesus the Messiah, cannot be 
so in consequence of any observance of the ritual of the 
Mosaic Law. Therefore we, no less than they, have 
believed in Jesus the Messiah, that we might be pro- 
nounced righteous on the one possible condition, the 
exercise of faith in the Messiah, as we could not have 
been through performance of the requirements of that 
Law ; for all humanity shall be denied acquittal of sin 
through performance of that Law. But if (as your new 
attitude implies) we ourselves, through seeking to be 
made righteous solely through union with Messiah, have 
thereby lapsed into the sinful state of mere Gentiles, dare 
you accept the logical conclusion that the Messiah is a 
promoter of sin ? Out upon the suggestion ! Yet if, 
after pulling down a structure (as you have done to the 
Law), I set about building up the very same again (as 
you are doing by your present action), I thereby brand 
myself as having been a wrong-doer in that former act, 
that act to which faith in Messiah led you ! What have 
we to do with the Law ? I, through the operation of the 
curse of the Law, have (in Messiah's person) suffered the 
death which puts me beyond the reach of the Law, to live 
henceforth a life consecrated to God. Yes, I have shared 
Messiah's crucifixion. I am living indeed, but it is not 
I that live ; it is Messiah whose life is in me. As for 
this my earthly existence, I live by virtue of my faith in 
God's Son, who loved me, and surrendered Himself to 

ii, 20 iii, 10. Letter to the Galatians. 97 

death for me. 7 do not treat God's gracious gift as a 
thing of no significance as I should do if I followed 
your example for, if righteousness can be attained 
through observance of the Mosaic Law, Messiah's death 
was simply superfluous.' 

III. Poor unreflecting Galatians ! how could you be 
caught and held by this spell of the evil-eye, when right 
before your eyes hung portrayed Jesus our Messiah, 
crucified as He was ? I want an answer from you to 
this one question when you received the Gift of the 
Spirit, was that in consequence of your performance of 
deeds enjoined by the Mosaic Law, or of the faith with 
which you accepted the Glad-tidings ? Is it possible 
that you can be so unreflecting ? You began your new 
life by the reception of the Spirit : do you think to per- 
fect yourselves in it by the reception of a sign scored on 
your flesh ? Have all your past experiences been in 
vain for you ? if they have indeed been in vain ! God 
bestows on you His Spirit, He works mighty deeds in 
your midst does He do this in consequence of your ob- 
servance of the Mosaic ritual, or in consequence of the 
faith with which you hearkened to His message ? Your 
position is the same as that of Abraham : ' HE BELIEVED 


RIGHTEOUSNESS.' (Gen. 15, 6). You must recognise, 
then, that those who rely on faith, those only are the 
true ' sons of Abraham.' Now the Scriptures, foreseeing 
that God ever holds the Gentiles (equally with Jews) 
righteous by virtue of their exercise of faith, proclaimed 
long ago that Glad-tidings to Abraham, ' IN THEE SHALL 

ALL THE NATIONS BE BLESSED.' (Gen. 12, 3}. It follows 

that those who rely on faith shall share the blessing of 
Abraham, the Man of Faith. On the other hand, all 
who rely on observance of that Law are burdened by a 
curse : for it stands written, * CURSED is EVERY ONE WHO 

98 Letters of St. Paul. iii, 10 18. 

ABIDES NOT (which no man ever succeeded in doing) BY 


LAW, TO PERFORM THEM.' (Deut. 27, 2(5). Further, 
that under the conditions of the Law no man is held 
righteous at God's bar is evident from the words, ' THE 
RIGHTEOUS MAN SHALL LIVE ' by his observance of the 
Law ? not at all ; but ' BY HIS FAITH.' (Hab. 2, 4), 
Well, but the Law does not depend on faith. No, its 
LIFE IN THEM.' (Lev. 18, 5). From that curse, which 
is of the essence of the Law, we Jews have been ran- 
somed only by Messiah : for He became ' The Accursed ' 
for our sakes you know it stands written, ' ACCURSED 


21, 23}. He so ransomed us in order that to the Gentiles 
might come, by their acceptance of Messiah Jesus, the 
blessing pronounced on Abraham, and in order that we 
through the exercise of faith may receive the realisation 
of the promise of the Spirit. 

Brothers, it is but an illustration drawn from social 
relations still, even a contract between man and man, 
when once signed and sealed, cannot be set aside, or have 
new conditions inserted by any one. Now certain 
promises were uttered to Abraham, with reversion ' to his 
seed.' Note, that the words do not run ' and to thy 
seeds,' as though they applied to several individuals, but, 
with reference to a representative one, ' and to thy seed ' 
which can mean only the Messiah. Now I argue thus 
-here was a covenant originally ratified by God: the 
Mosaic Law, which only came into existence four hun- 
dred and thirty years later, cannot make it void, to the 
extent of annulling the promise.' Yet these false teachers 
would have you believe that it has done so ; for, if our 
inheritance in the Kingdom of Heaven depends on our 
observance of the Law, it has ceased to depend on faith 

iii, 18 27. Letter to the Galatians. 99 

in God's promise ; whereas God did give it as a free 
gift to Abraham by virtue of a promise. ' What then,' 
I shall be challenged to say, ' was the purpose of the 
Law ? ' It was, I reply, superadded to that promise, to 
make men feel the guilt of their transgressions ; and it was 
designed to operate until the coming of that Representa- 
tive Seed to whom the promise had been given. It was 
enacted through the agency of angels, and was delivered 
through the hands of Moses, who was here the mediator 
between God and men. The office of a mediator, however, 
has its limitations : it gives him no authority to interfere 
retrospectively in another arrangement made by one sole 
party, who has no equals. But God, who gave that 
promise to Abraham, does stand alone He has no 
equals. Therefore Moses' Law had no authority to 
override God's previous decree. ' Are then the Law and 
God's promises antagonistic ? ' I shall be asked. Away 
with the thought ! I grant you, if there had been given 
a Law such as could avail to make the dead live, then in 
very truth would righteousness have had its fountain in 
that Law. But in point of fact Scripture has described 
all mankind as shut up in a prison, with sin for their 
gaoler, on purpose that the promise conditional on faith 
in Jesus the Messiah might be bestowed on all who 
believe in Him. 

Yes, before the advent of this faith even we Jews were 
as men imprisoned, with Moses' Law for our warder, in 
preparation for the faith which was destined to be un- 
veiled. Thus that Law has but been as the guardian- 
slave that watched over us till we were matured for 
Messiah, in order that by faith in Him we might be made 
righteous. Well, faith has now come, and so we are 
subject to the guardian-slave no longer. For now you 
are, all of you, mature sons of God by virtue of your 
faith in His Messiah, Jesus. Yes, all of you who have 

ioo Letters of St. Paul. iii, 27 iv, g. 

by baptism passed into union with Messiah have clothed 
yourselves with Messiah's personality. Under the new 
conditions there is no distinction between Jew and non- 
Jew, between bondman and freeman, between male and 
female all of you form one body in your union with 
Messiah Jesus. And if you are part of Messiah, it fol- 
lows that you are Abraham's seed, and, by virtue of the 
promise ' to Abraham's seed,' are heirs of all its blessings. 

IV. Speaking of heirs, I must observe that every heir, 
during the period of his legal infancy, is (even when he 
is, through his father's death, left prospective owner of all 
the estate) no more independent than any slave ; but he 
is controlled by guardians of his person and by stewards 
of his property until his majority, as appointed in his 
father's will. The case of us Jews has been a parallel 
one : during' the period of our infancy we were held in 
bondage, subject to the elementary teachings of a system 
of externalities. But when the period of waiting was 
fully completed, God sent forth on His mission His Son, 
the human offspring of a woman, and, by the conditions 
of His birth, subject to the Mosaic Law sent Him on 
purpose that He might ransom from captivity all who 
were under the hand of the Law, that we might thus re- 
ceive at His hands the charter of our sonship. And, to 
prove that you really are His sons, God sent forth from 
Himself the Spirit of His own Son, to pass into our 
hearts, there crying, ' My own dear Father ! ' Therefore 
you, who feel that Spirit, have ceased to be a bondslave : 
you are a son. And if you are His son, you are also, 
through God's grace, heir to His riches. 

But you Gentiles, in your former condition, since you 
knew not God, were bondslaves to things which, by their 
very nature, cannot be gods. Now, however, when you 
have recognised God as your Father, or, I should rather 
say, have been recognised by God as members of His 

iv, 9 20. Letter to the Galatians. 101 

family, how comes it that you are turning back again 
to those mere elementary teachings, impotent to help and 
soul-starving as they are, and that you are again willing 
to become slaves to them anew ? Here I find you studi- 
ously observing Sabbath-days, Seventh-months, festival- 
seasons, Sabbatical and Jubilee years. I am trembling 
for you, in the thought that all my labour on you may 
have been wasted ! 

Become as I am, by shaking off these shackles of for- 
malism, I implore you, just as I, by shaking them off, 
became as you, my brothers, were. You have never 
wronged me yet : do not do so now. You remember 
how it was owing to physical infirmity that I came, on 
the first occasion, to proclaim to you the Glad-tidings. 
You remember what a trial to you was my bodily afflic- 
tion ; yet you did not scorn me, you did not loathe me ; 
but as if I had been an angel of God you received me 
nay, as if I had been Messiah Jesus Himself ! What real 
ground was there, then, for your self-felicitation ? I can 
testify for you that in those days, had it been possible, you 
would have torn out your very eyes and have given them 
to me. And have I become your foe through telling you 
the truth ? These men are earnestly trying to win you, 
but for unworthy ends. No, they really want to shut 
you out from the pale of God's church, in order that you 
may earnestly try to win their favour, as though they 
held the keys of it. A good thing it were, indeed, that 
you should be earnestly sought, for a worthy object, 
ay, always, and not only when I am among you to do it ! 
Ah, my children, my own little ones ! you for whom I 
am now enduring second travail-pangs, and shall endure, 
until Messiah's likeness be formed within you oh that I 
might now be with you, and might speak in a different 
strain from this ! I am full of despairing perplexity for 
you ! 

io2 Letters of St. Paul. iv, 21 v, 3. 

Answer me, you who are so eager to stoop under the 
yoke of the Mosaic Law you are willing to listen to 
the records of that Law, are you not ? Well, it there 
stands written, Abraham had two sons, one by the bond- 
maid, one by the free woman. The son born of the 
bondmaid was his natural son ; the son born of the free 
woman was his by virtue of God's promise. These rela- 
tions have a figurative interpretation. These two women 
are the two Covenants : the one delivered from Mount 
Sinai, whose offspring are born to an inheritance of 
bondage that is Hagar. Yes, the word ' Hagar ' means, 
in- -Arabia, 1 -Mount Sinai : and she takes rank with the 
Jerusalem of our day ; for she is, with her children, in 
bondage. But the Jerusalem on high (typified by Sarah) 
is ffee, and 'she is our mother. Yes, it stands written, 


54, /'). We,' my brothers, are of the true succession of 
Isaac: we are 'the children,' by virtue of God's promise. 
Ay., and just as the natural son was wont to persecute 
the son born by the Spirit's power, so it is still. But 
what does the Scripture say on this very point ? CAST 

TANCE WITH THE SON OF THE FREE.' (Gen. 21, 10). The 
application, brothers, is that we are not children of the 
bondmaid, but of the free wife. 

V. On ; that liberty, for the right use of which 
Messiah has made us free men, do you take a firm stand. 
Do not again clog yourselves with the yoke of slavery. 

I tell you- I, Paul -that, if .you submit to be circum- 
cised, Messiah will avail you not one whit. I solemnly 
testify to every man who undergoes circumcision, that 

v, 3 J 4- Letter to the Galatians. 103 

he thereby assumes the position of a debtor, under bond 
to keep the Mosaic Law the whole of it ! You have 
cancelled your union with Messiah, you who are now bas- 
ing your claim to righteousness on observance of the 
Law : you have banished yourselves from the free grace of 
God. We have not ; for we, through His Spirit's prompt- 
ing, and through exercise of faith, are still wait- 
ing to see the fulfilment of our hope of righteousness. 
This hope is well-founded ; for, in union with Messiah 
Jesus, neither is circumcision of any avail, nor is uncir- 
cumcision any disqualification : the faith which displays 
its efficacy through love, is all-availing. You were run- 
ning a noble race. Who has tripped up your feet, so 
that it is not the Truth to which you are now ready to 
yield obedience ? The arguments that have so wrought 
on you were never inspired by Him who still bids you 
come to Him. The leaven introduced by these men, 
little as it seems, is leavening the whole mass of your 
church. But I trust oh, I do trust, with regard to you 
in your union with our Lord, that you will accept no 
alien creed. He who is trying to unsettle you shall, 
whoever he may be, have the heavy burden of God's sen- 
tence on him to bear. As to the statement that I myself 
still proclaim the necessity for circumcision, how can 
they reconcile that with the Jews' persistent persecution 
of me ? Why, in that case, the one feature of my 
teaching which is repulsive to them the crucifixion of 
the Messiah has become a non-essential. Oh that the 
apostles of bondage, who are disturbing your peace, 
would but act out fully their own principles, and muti- 
late themselves ! I may well wish it, for it is to freedom 
that you have been called by God, my brothers. Only, 
do not make your liberty an excuse for leaving the sen- 
sual nature untrammelled : no, but by love's promptings 
become bondmen to one another. Yes, you can recon- 

104 Letters of St. Paul. v, 14 vi, i. 

cile your freedom with the most perfect observance of 
the Mosaic Law ; for the whole Law is fulfilled in the 
keeping of that one precept, ' THOU SHALT LOVE THY 
NEIGHBOUR AS THYSELF.' (Lev. 19, 18}. But if, instead 
of that, you go on biting and devouring one another, 
beware lest you be utterly destroyed by one another. 

I say to you, order your lives by the Spirit's guidance, 
and there will be no fear of your gratifying the cravings 
of your sensual nature. For the sensual nature passion- 
ately resists the Spirit, as does the Spirit the sensual 
nature : these two are mutually antagonistic, so that 
your good impulses are thwarted by the one, your evil by 
the other. But if you definitely surrender yourselves to 
the Spirit's guidance, you are then not under the Law, 
but on a higher plane. As for the acts prompted by the 
sensual nature, they are unmistakable, such, for instance, 
as fornication, impurity, licentiousness, idolatry, sorcery ; 
all hatreds, strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, intrigues, 
dissensions, factious parties, envyings, drunkenness, 
revellings, and the like. I forewarn you, as I have al- 
ready done, that those who practise such sins shall not 
be the heirs of God's kingdom. But the harvest of the 
Spirit's sowing is love, gladness, heart-peace, forbear- 
ance, kindness, benevolence, trustfulness, gentleness, 
self-control. It was not to curb such qualities as these 
that the Law was instituted. They who belong to 
Messiah Jesus have, by sharing in His death, thereby 
slain upon His cross their sensual nature, with its 
passions and its cravings. 

Since it is by the power of the Spirit that we have our 
new life, by the guidance of the Spirit let us also order 
our conduct. Let us not grow conceited about our 
liberty, nor challenge one another to controversy, or envy 
each other's gifts. 

VI. My brothers, even if a man have been detected 

vi, i 13. Letter to the Galatians. 105 

in the commission of some positive transgression, do 
you in whom is God's Spirit reinstate such a man, in a 
spirit all gentleness. Look to yourself : you too may yet 
be tempted. Ever bear each other's burdens; fulfil in 
this way Messiah's Law of Love. If any of you thinks 
himself too big for such condescension (whereas he is 
really nothing exceptional), he is the victim of self-delu- 
sion. Let each man candidly appraise his own real ser- 
vices to the cause : then in his acts (not in some fancied 
superiority over his neighbour) will he find what legiti- 
mate ground there is, if any, for his boasting. Ah, 
there is not one but will find that he has his own load of 
sins and infirmities to bear ! 

Let him who is receiving instruction in the Word give 
ungrudgingly a share of his worldly goods to him who 
instructs him. Do not delude yourselves God's claims 
are not to be dismissed with a sneer : whatever a man 
sows, that, and nothing different, shall he reap. He who 
is sowing for the ends of his own sensual nature will 
from that sensual nature reap a harvest of moral degen- 
eracy ; but he who is sowing for the Spirit's ends shall 
from the Spirit reap a harvest of life eternal. But let us 
not grow discouraged in acting rightly ; for at the proper 
season we shall reap that harvest, if we do not grow lax 
in our endeavours. So then, at every fit opportunity, let 
us treat all men with the kindness I spoke of, especially 
those who are members of the same household with our- 
selves, the household of faith. 

/ conclude in my own handwriting : mark in what 
bold emphatic characters I have set it down ! 

To sum up the sole object of all who are trying to 
force you to submit to circumcision is that they may wear 
a specious exterior in their unspiritual world, that they 
may evade the persecution which attends the preaching of 
a crucified Messiah. I know what I am saying: these 

106 Letters of St. Paul. vi, 13 18. 

very men who are circumcised are not themselves keeping 
the Mosaic Law. Their sole object in urging you to sub- 
mit to circumcision is that they may boast of having set 
their mark upon your flesh. But never be it mine to boast 
of aught save of the Cross of our Lord, of jfesus the 
Messiah, by whose death the world has died on that cross 
to me, and I have died to the world. 

Circumcision is nothing; uncircumcision is nothing: 
the creation of a new nature in us is everything. Upon 
all who adopt this as the guiding principle of their lives 
may peace and mercy descend, ay, and upon all the TRUE 
Israel, the Israel of God. 

Let no man hereafter harass me by misrepresentation : 
my character is beyond all challenge, for I bear on my 
very body the brands which proclaim me Jesus' bondman. 

May the grace of our Lord, of jfesus the Messiah, be 
with your spirit, my brothers. Amen. 



The Persons addressed. When, and by whom, the 
Christian church at Rome was founded, is not known. 
It may be that some of the Jews and Proselytes, who 
had gathered from all parts of the empire to Jerusalem, 
carried back the Gospel with them, after the Day of 
Pentecost, to the capital : it may be that some of those 
scattered by the persecution that followed Stephen's 
martyrdom travelled thither. With the constant inter- 
course between Rome and the provinces, Christianity 
was sure to arrive there sooner or later. The Jews were 
expelled from Rome by Claudius in 52 A.D., but they 
soon drifted back ; and six years later were probably as 
numerous there as ever. By this time it may well be that 
the Gentile believers were in the majority in the Christian 
church at Rome. 

Reason why it was written. Paul instinctively recog- 
nised the importance of its position as a centre of future 
influence : he knew that its numbers were rapidly in- 
creasing Tacitus speaks of those martyred by Nero in 
64 A.D. as a 'vast multitude,' and was very anxious to 
visit this church (which counted among its members 
several whom he had known as members of other 
churches), and to establish its faith on the one true basis. 

io8 Letters of St. Paul. 

Though this purpose was again and again frustrated, the 
departure of Phoebe from Corinth, where Paul was stay- 
ing, gave him an opportunity of writing to the Roman 
church. The arguments of the letter to the Galatians 
were still fresh in his mind : he saw instinctively that 
the questions there dealt with were the questions on 
which the whole future of Christianity depended. He 
therefore set himself to elaborate those arguments and to 
marshal them into the most telling form, making his 
letter so comprehensive as to cover both the Jewish and 
the Gentile position, alike matters of faith and matters 
of practice. The controversy taken up and settled in this 
letter may have only recently become acute at Rome. 
If the church there was in the first instance an offshoot 
from that at Jerusalem, these doctrines would not have 
been early developed among them. But in time there 
would be a large leaven of those who (especially during 
the banishment period) had elsewhere heard Paul's 
preaching ; and there would be a certain antagonism be- 
tween these and those of the Judaic party, news of 
which would in time reach Paul and warn him of the 
necessity for action. 

It need not be supposed that the objections assumed 
by the writer to be raised were invented by himself. On 
the numerous occasions on which he had, as recorded in 
the Acts, ' argued in the synagogues,' he must have been 
again and again confronted with these and many beside. 
He probably quotes for refutation those objections which 
he thought his readers would find it most difficult to 
answer. Much of the letter reads like a reproduction of 
one of these synagogue-disputes. It is all vividly 
brought before us the proud appeal to covenant-pro- 
mises, the haughty claim of inherited moral superiority, 
the jealous championship of the Mosaic Law, the con- 
temptuous application of the reductio ad absurdum argu- 

i, i 5. Letter to the Romans. 109 

ment, 1 the swift leap with which the opponent thought 
to thrust him on to the horns of a dilemma, the savage 
eagerness with which they tried to entrap him into 
' blasphemy,' the indignant gasp with which they saw 
his most outrageous assertions anticipated in the very 
' Law and the Prophets ' to which they appealed. There 
can be no doubt that Paul was thoroughly familiar with 
all that could by any chance be urged against the doc- 
trines he was establishing ; and he meant to furnish the 
Roman church with a conclusive, an unanswerable reply. 


I. I, Paul, who am a bondman of Jesus the Messiah, 
have been summoned by Him to act as His Apostle. I 
was singled out to proclaim the Glad-tidings of God, the 
same which He promised of old through His prophets, 
as recorded in the Sacred Writings. That Glad-tidings 
tells of His Son, who, in respect of His bodily nature, 
was born of David's seed ; but in respect of His spiritual 
nature, a nature all holiness, He was expressly declared 
Son of God by a miracle of Divine Omnipotence. Yea, 
His Sonship was proved by the Resurrection of the Dead 
the resurrection of Jesus the Messiah, our Lord. From 
His hands I have received my commission as apostle, and 
grace to exercise it, so as to lead men among all Gentile 
nations to that submission to Him which springs from 

i. A passage in ch. viii would seem to suggest that he had once 
been met with the retort that, if he maintained that there was re- 
demption for heathen savages, he might as well stretch his insane 
sympathy to the extent of saving that there was redemption for 
brutes also. 

no Letters of St. Paul. 1,5 16. 

faith, for the glory of His Name. Among such believers 
are you too numbered, you who have hearkened the call 
of Jesus the Messiah. 

So to all God's dear ones who dwell in Rome, to all 
whom He has called to a consecrated life, I send this 
Grace be to you, and heart-peace, the 
gifts of God our Father, and of our Lord, Jesus the 

In the first place, I offer through Jesus the Messiah 
thanks to my God for all of you. I thank Him that the 
story of your faith is told through all the world. God, 
whom I serve in the temple of my soul, to whom I offer 
for sacrifice the proclamation of the Glad-tidings of His 
Son, is witness for me, how unceasingly I make mention 
of you, always entreating in my prayers that I may at 
last, by God's good pleasure, be sped on my way to visit 
you. For I do long to see you : I want to share with you 
a gift of the Spirit's giving, so that your position may be 
strengthened in other words, that we may, as I mingle 
with you, be encouraged by the influence of our faith on 
each other. I want you fully to understand, my brothers, 
that again and again I have purposed visiting you (but 
one thing and another has arisen to prevent me hitherto) 
in the hope of finding a harvest of my labours among 
you, as I already do among the other Gentiles. I feel I 
have a debt to discharge, both to civilized Greeks and to 
the half-civilized outer world, both to the cultured and 
the uncultured. So strong is my eagerness to proclaim 
with all my energy the Glad-tidings to you also who 
dwell in Rome. 

In the Glad-tidings there is no feature of which I am 
ashamed. It is the means through which God exerts 
His power for the salvation of every one who puts 

i, 16 25. Letter to the Romans. in 

faith in the Message of the Jew, as having the prece- 
dence, but of the Greek also. God's gift of righteous- 
ness is revealed in it, lifting men from one step of faith to 
another. This is the import of that passage of Scripture 


Sore need has the world of this message ; for the 
wrath of God is ever being revealed from heaven to blast 
all godlessness and evil-living of men, who smother by their 
evil-living the germ of truth that they possess. O yes, 
they have in their own hearts a certain vision of the 
divine nature ; in fact, it was God who so enlightened 
them. Invisible though He be, two distinctive attributes 
of His have been discerned through contemplation of 
His works, ever since the creation ; I refer to His eternal 
power and His divine nature. Hence they have not the 
excuse of ignorance. They did know God ; yet they 
rendered Him neither homage nor gratitude. Instead of 
that, they have lost themselves in mere speculations. 
Their souls, bereft of all faculty of clear vision, have 
been beclouded with darkness. They prate of their 
' philosophy ' yet they have actually sunk into the folly 
of misrepresenting the majesty of the immortal God by 
making images of mortal men, nay, even of birds, of 
four-foot beasts, and of reptiles, and calling these repre- 
sentations of Him ! 

So the God whom they had bestialised abandoned 
them, sunk as they were in the lusts of their own hearts, 
to the thraldom of impurity, till they bestialised them- 
selves with one another. Rightly served were they, for 
perverting the true conception of God by a cloud of lies, 
for rendering homage and service to the thing created 
instead of its Creator that Creator who is worthy to be 
blessed through all ages. 

In retribution for this, that God delivered them over to 

ii2 Letters of St. Paul. i, 26 ii, 3. 

the sway of infamous passions. Yes, their women act- 
ually perverted their natural function into an unnatural 
one ! And, in like manner, the men neglected natural 
intercourse with women, and were set ablaze with lustful 
passion for one another, men on men perpetrating the 
deed of shame ay, and receiving in their own bodies the 
wages of their transgression which they richly deserved. 

And even as these abandoned the knowledge of God, 
so did God deliver them over to the promptings of a 
mind abandoned to itself, to the perpetration of hideous 
sins. They are steeped in every kind of iniquity, in vil- 
lainy, in grasping greed, in malice : they reek with 
jealousy, with murder, with feuds, with treachery, with 
malignity : they are secret calumniators, they are open 
slanderers, heaven -abhorred ; they are overbearing, they 
are arrogant, they are braggarts ; they are schemers 
of wrong, they are disobedient to parents. They have 
no sense of truth in themselves, no sense of honour in 
their dealings with others, no love for their own flesh 
and blood, no pity. So bad are they, that, though fully 
aware of God's decree, which ordains that all who prac- 
tise such sins deserve death, yet not only do they perpe- 
trate those deeds themselves, but even gloat over the 
practice of them by others. 

1 1 . So, then, whosoever you are, who, a mere man, 
presume to sit in judgment on your fellows, you are your- 
self a criminal, and that without a defence. In passing 
judgment on your fellow-sinner, you are passing sentence 
on yourself. Yes, you, the judge, habitually practise the 
same crimes. We know that the sentence of God and 
it is in accordance with the evidence is daily passed 
upon those who practise such actions. How ? do you cal- 
culate on this you who, mere man that you are, sit in 
judgment upon those who practise such actions, while you 
do them yourself that you will yourself elude the judg- 

ii, 3 14. Letter to the Romans. 113 

ment of God ? Or, can it be that you are trifling with 
His kindness, His forbearance, His long-enduring pa- 
tience, because they seem exhaustless ? Do you ignore 
the fact that God's kindness is trying to draw you on to 
repentance ? Are you determined, in the callousness and 
stubborn impenitence of your heart, to hoard up for 
yourself a grim treasure of wrath, which shall blast you 
in the Day of the Wrath of God, when He unveils the 
terrors of His righteous judgment ? Then ' HE WILL 

SERVE.' (Ps. 62, 12). Some men are persevering in 
good actions, and so are following the path which 
leads to glory and honour and immortality : these He 
will repay with eternal life. Others are actuated by 
a spirit of factiousness : they disregard the promptings 
of truth, they follow the promptings of injustice : 
for them wait God's wrath and indignation, torment 
and despair. This requital awaits every living man 
who sets himself to do evil the Jew (of course) taking 
precedence, and the non-Jew sharing his condem- 
nation. But there wait glory and honour and heart- 
peace for every one who sets himself to do good, the 
Jew again taking precedence, and the non-Jew sharing 
the reward. There is no favouritism at God's bar. 
There will be strict justice all who sinned in ignorance 
of Moses' Law shall, in their destruction, be allowed the 
plea of ignorance of that Law : all who sinned in the 
full light of that Law shall have to answer for every 
deviation from that Law. It is not those who merely 
listen to the reading of Moses' Law that will stand 
acquitted at God's bar, but those who perform its com- 
mands. Whenever it is found that Gentiles, though 
they may not possess Moses' Law, yet by the promptings 
of their nature do what the Law enjoins, it is ruled that 
these, as having no prescribed law, are a law to them- 

H4 Letters of St. Paul. ii, 14 25. 

selves, inasmuch as they give satisfactory evidence that 
the essential enactments of the Law are graven on their 
hearts, which are as it were a court of justice, where 
their conscience appears as a witness on the side of the 
Law, and the arguments of reason encounter one another 
as counsel for the prosecution and defence. Such shall be 
the decision in that day when God judges men according 
to their secret motives, committing that judgment to 
Jesus the Messiah, just as is foretold in the Glad-tidings 
that I have proclaimed. 

And you you flaunt your name of Jew : you repose 
in privileged security on your possession of ' the Law ' : 
you boast of * our God,' as though He were your private 
property : you have, forsooth, clear insight into His will : 
you are a casuist on nice points of interpretation, as a 
trained student of the Law. You have no misgivings as 
to your pretensions, proclaiming yourself ' the guide of 
the blind,' ' the light of those who grope in darkness,' 
' instructor of dulness,' ' teacher of infancy,' as possess- 
ing in this Law of yours the one mould into which all 
illumination, all truth, must be run. Well now, you 
who are in perpetuity the instructor of your neighbour, 
are you neglecting self-instruction ? You proclaim the 
commandment, ' THOU SHALT NOT STEAL ' are you a 
thief ? You quote the ordinance, ' THOU SHALT NOT 
COMMIT ADULTERY,' are you an adulterer ? You de- 
nounce idols as ' the abomination ' is it true that you 
filch the treasures from their temples ? You, who so 
vaunt your monopoly of the Law, are you, by your 
transgression of the Law, habitually doing dishonour to 
your God ? Yes, it is through you you that your 
NATIONS' (Is. 52, 5) those are the very words of your 
own Scriptures. Circumcision ! O yes, it confers an 
advantage, if you practise the teachings of the Law. 

ii, 25 iii, 5. Letter to the Romans. 115 

But if you are an habitual transgressor of the Law, 
your circumcision is null you are to all intents and 
purposes uncircumcised. If, in fact, our uncircumcised 
Gentile does practically observe the ordinances of the 
Law, shall not he, for all that he is uncircumcised, be 
accounted as good as if he were circumcised ? The man 
who is, physically speaking, uncircumcised, and who yet 
fulfils the Law, shall by his acts judge you, who, for all 
your possession of sacred documents, for all your bodily 
sign of circumcision, are yet a transgressor of your Law. 
It is not the man who is a Jew in outward appearance 
who is really one. Neither is that true circumcision 
which is all outward appearance, a mere sign scored on 
the flesh. He is the Jew who is so in his secret soul ; 
and his is the true circumcision that of the heart, con- 
sisting in the Spirit's presence, not in observance of the 
written letter. Men may have no praise to bestow on 
such a man God has. 

III. What becomes, then, of the superiority of the 
Jew ? What advantage was conferred with the institu- 
tion of circumcision ? Much, from every point of view. 
To begin with, in the long start that they had in the 
race for righteousness, through the fact that to their 
keeping were confided the revelations of God. Well, 
but some of them have lacked faith, in consequence of 
which God's promises have not been fulfilled to them as a 
nation. Does their unfaith argue then that God will not 
keep faith ? Never ! Let us be very sure that God is 
ever true to His word, though we should have to admit 
that no man can be relied on to keep faith. This is the 
thought behind David's words ' (I make this confession) 



(Ps. 51, 4). 

' But (here I suppose the unenlightened human instinct 

n6 Letters of St. Paul. Hi, 5 18. 

to speak), if our unrighteousness does practically set 
God's righteousness in a clearer light, surely God acts 
unfairly by us in visiting our wrong-doing with His 
wrath ! ' Out upon the suggestion ! Will the caviller 
dare to face the logical conclusion, and deny God's right 
to judge His own world ? 

' But,' the caviller may persist, ' if the truthfulness of 
God has been thrown into clearer relief by my falsity, 
and His glory has thus been enhanced, why should sen- 
tence be in spite of that passed on me, as on a malefactor ? 
Should we not be justified in adopting as our principle of 
conduct, " Let us do evil that good may come ? " In- 
deed, this very slander is current against us Christians : 
there are actually some who maintain that we avow this 
principle. My only reply to such blasphemers and 
calumniators is, that God will certainly condemn them, 
and justly too. 

Well then, have we Jews now any real superiority ? On 
the whole, no. We have already drawn up this indict- 
ment against both Jews and non-Jews, that they are all 
alike under the yoke of sin. In fact, it so stands re- 
corded in the Scriptures ' THERE is NOT EVEN so MUCH 


(Ps.5, 9; 140, 3) 'THEIR MOUTH is CHARGED WITH 

NEVER KNOWN.' (/S. 59, 7, 8). ' THERE IS NO FEAR OF 

iii, 18 26. Letter to the Romans. 117 

GOD BEFORE THEIR EYES.' (Ps. 36, 7). We cannot 
pretend that all this has no application to us Jews. 
Everybody knows that all the denunciations of the 
Mosaic Law are of course addressed to Jews, as being 
the only persons amenable to that Law. Every murmur 
is consequently hushed, and all humanity finds itself 
subject still to God's jurisdiction. For, when all human- 
ity is tried at His bar, the verdict of innocence will not 
depend on the question whether they have in every case 
fulfilled the requirements of the Mosaic Law. In fact, 
the real function of that Law is but to awaken the hu- 
man conscience in relation to sin. 

But now we have a new revelation the offer of God's 
gift of righteousness quite independently of obedience to 
the Mosaic Law. And this revelation is actually attest- 
ed by that very Law, and by the words of the Prophets 
as well. This righteousness of God's bestowal is attain- 
ed through trust in Jesus the Messiah, and is vouchsafed 
only to those who believe in Him. \Ve find no distinct- 
ion made. All Jew as well as Gentile have commit- 
ted sin : all lag far behind the attainment of the glory 
of the Vision of God. They can obtain acquittal 
only as an act of charity, an act of free grace on His 
part. Now this act of grace is made possible by the 
ransom paid for them in the person of the Messiah, of 
Jesus. God ordained Him from of old to be the atone- 
ment for a world's sin. The essence of this atonement 
consisted in the shedding of His blood : the channel 
whereby we profit by it is faith in Him : the effect 
is a new revelation of God's justice. He suspended 
judgment on the sins of that former period, the period of 
His forbearance, with a view to the revelation of His 
justice under this new dispensation, when He, while re- 
maining a just judge, can actually acquit the sinner who 
makes faith in Jesus his plea. 

n8 Letters of St. Paul. Hi, 27 iv, 4. 

Well, what has become of the vaunted superiority of 
the Jews ? The doors of God's justice-hall are shut in 
its face. By virtue of what clause in God's law ? Be- 
cause they have not performed the deeds prescribed ? 
Not that ; but because they have not exercised the faith 

We arrive at the conclusion that a man must gain 
his verdict of acquittal by exercising faith, the plea of 
performance of legal ordinances being invalid. After 
this, can it be maintained that God is the God of the 
Jews exclusively ? Is He not quite as much the God 
of the Gentiles ? Most certainly He is. He must be, 
if it be true that God is one, and not dual. He will 
acquit of guilt alike the circumcised Jew who relies 
only on the exercise of faith, and the uncircumcised 
Gentile who approaches Him only through the gate of 

' Why, you are making the Law,' I shall be told, ' a 
mere nullity by making this faith of yours everything ! ' 
Nothing of the kind. I tell you, I am fixing the Law 
firmly upon its true foundation. 

IV. ' What are we to say, then, of Abraham, our first 
father, whose blood is in all our veins ? does it appear 
that he really obtained nothing at all from God ? ' will be 
the Jew's challenge. I answer if it shall appear that 
Abraham was pronounced righteous in consequence of 
his performance of deeds specified in the Law, then he 
has something to claim merit for. But this is an impos- 
sible relation of man to God. Nor had Abraham this ; 
for what does the Scripture really say on this point ? 
Here are the words ' HE BELIEVED Abraham exercised 
AS RIGHTEOUSNESS.' (Gen. 15, 6). Well now, when a 
man performs a piece of work, his account for wages is 
not made out as for an unearned gift, but as a debt due 

iv, 4 13. Letter to the Romans. 119 

to him. On the other hand, if a man does no work at 
all, but steadily trusts in Him who pronounces the ere- 
while godless man righteous, then it must be the man's 
faith which appears in his account as righteousness. 

David's language furnishes an exact parallel he is 
describing the blessed state of the man whom God 
credits with righteousness (without stipulating perform- 
ance of acts prescribed by the Law), and he says, 
IMPUTE SIN.' (Ps. 32, 1, 2.) I ask you, is there any- 
thing here about the blessing descending only upon the 
circumcised man ? Dare you deny that it is also 
pronounced on the uncircumcised man ? Why, it is 
proved from the quotation already given. I repeat it : 

NESS.' Now, at what period in his history was it 
so credited ? In his circumcised state, or in his uncir- 
cumcised state ? Not in the former, but in the latter. 
As for circumcision, it was simply as a sign that he 
received it, as the attesting seal of the righteousness 
springing from his faith, which he already possessed in his 
uncircumcised condition. It follows that, so far from 
being the exclusive father of the Jews, he is the father of 
all who, in a similar uncircumcised state, so believe that 
they too are credited with righteousness. Of course he 
remains father of the circumcised Jews, not, however, as 
circumcised men, but only in so far as they follow the 
path of that faith of our father Abraham which he 
exercised in his uncircumcised state. In fact, the Mosaic 
Law was not the channel through which the promise 
came to Abraham, nor to his seed either the promise 
that he should be the heir of the world. It came 
through that righteousness which is the outcome of 

I2O Letters of St. Paul. iv, 13 23. 

faith. Why, if those who rely on the Mosaic Law are 
the heirs specified, this faith is emptied of all significance, 
and that promise becomes nugatory. The immediate 
effect of Law is anger of the law-maker against the 
law-breaker ; whereas, where there is no law defining 
limits of conduct, it is impossible to transgress non- 
existent limits. For this reason the promise was made 
conditional on faith simply, that its fulfilment might be 
a matter of God's free grace, the consequence being that 
the aforesaid promise was securely settled on all Abra- 
ham's offspring not on those alone who adhere to the 
performance of the Law, but especially on those who rely 
on faith, just such as Abraham exercised. In this sense 
he is the father of us all (' AS A FATHER OF MANY NATIONS 
HAVE I ORDAINED THEE ' is the Scripture expression) in 
the eyes of Him whose promise he believed, that is, of 
God, who can make the dead live again, and who is con- 
tinually anticipating the birth of things that give as yet no 
token of existence. And so Abraham, though it was a thing 
transcending all hope, yet made hope the foundation for 
such a faith that he did become ' Father of many nations,' 
in accordance with the promise uttered, ' countless as 
yonder stars shall thine offspring be.' Nay, his faith 
was not weakened when he took note of his own physical 
condition a man with one foot in the grave (he was 
some hundred years old) and the loss of vital power in 
Sarah's womb. But, when he turned his eyes towards 
the promise of God, there came no distrust to make him 
waver. Nay, rather it was by that faith that he was 
filled with virile vigour, when once he had, by this 
trusting in God, rendered glory to Him, and was 
possessed by the conviction that God can perform what- 
ever He has promised. That is why ' it was set down to 
his account as righteousness.' Those words stand 
recorded not for his honour merely, but for our benefit 

iv, 23 v, 10. Letter to the Romans. 121 

also. For we shall be similarly credited with righteous- 
ness, we, I mean, who have faith in that God who raised 
from the dead Jesus, the Messiah, who is our Lord, and 
who was surrendered to death to atone for our sins, and 
was raised from the dead in proof of the acquittal we had 
obtained by His death. 

V. Since, then, from this faith we have attained to 
righteousness, let us enjoy peace with God. We can 
procure it now through our Lord Jesus the Messiah. 
Through Him, too, we have been introduced by this 
door Of faith into the favour of God in which we have 
so firm a footing : yes, and we are exulting in the hope 
of something higher yet, the glory of God's presence. I 
will go further, and say that we actually exult in such 
afflictions as ours, knowing as we do that affliction de- 
velopes unflinching endurance ; that endurance developes 
tested strength, and tested strength developes the habit of 
hope. This hope is no delusive one, as is proved by the 
fact that the brimming river of God's love has already 
overflowed into our hearts, on-drawn by His Holy Spirit, 
which He has given to us. It was given in all its might 
after our Messiah had died for godless men at the time 
ordained ah, we were weak indeed ere then ! A mar- 
vellous sacrifice this ! for one can hardly imagine that 
any one would consent to give his life for another, even 
for a righteous man ' hardly,' I say ; since perhaps for 
an ideally good man another might bring himself to die. 
But think, O think what utter love is that of God toward 
us which He proves by the fact that Messiah died for us 
while we were sinners still ! If He did that for us then, 
much more now, when we have actually been adjudged 
righteous in virtue of the spilling of His blood, shall we 
be delivered by His hand from that wrath of which I 
have spoken. This is a fair inference ; for, if, while we 
were still God's enemies, peace was made between us and 

122 Letters of St. Paul. v, 10 17. 

Him by means of the death of His Son, much more may 
we expect, now that this peace has been made, that in 
the life of His Son we shall find shelter from all future 
wrath. Nay, we have more than a sense of security : 
we even exult in a new life in God, which has come to 
us through our Lord Jesus the Messiah, from whose 
hands we have received this our charter of peace. 

The outcome of this is the inauguration of a New Era. 
The error of one individual man made the breach through 
which sin entered our world ; and in the track of sin 
came death. So it was that death passed through that 
door to assail all men, since they all sinned. Of course, 
sin did exist as a fact in the world before the institution 
of Law : only, sin is not set down to a man's account as 
guilt, so long as there is no law prohibiting certain acts. 
Yet, from the days of the first man to the days of the 
first lawgiver, physical death was king over the lives of 
men, even of those whose sin (inasmuch as it was not 
against a definite prohibition) was different in kind from 
that of Adam. This First Man of the Old Life pre- 
figures the destined First Man of the New Life : each 
gave a gift to humanity the former, the death-fraught 
transgression, the latter, the free gift of Life. But 
note, that transgression and this free gift are in in- 
verse proportion. Through that one man's trespass the 
myriads of humanity died, I grant you : yet the dispro- 
portion is as nothing to the measureless overflowings to 
the myriads of humanity of the fountain of the grace of 
God, and of His bounty conveyed by the grace embodied 
in this one Man, Jesus the Messiah. No, the bounty now 
bestowed is not commensurate with the mischief that came 
from that one man's sin. On that one man's sin followed 
a sentence that meant humanity's condemnation : but 
here on all its countless sins follows a free gift of God that 
means humanity's acquittal. If, in consequence of that 

v, iy vi, 3. Letter to the Romans. 123 

single first transgression, death became king of men's lives, 
through the one man's demerit, all this will be far more 
than compensated when those who receive the measure- 
less wealth of God's grace and God's gift of righteous- 
ness shall be kings in the New Life, through the merit of 
the One, Jesus the Messiah. To sum up the argument 
as that single transgression of Adam resulted in con- 
demnation for all men then, so this single righteous act 
of Jesus results in an acquittal that bestows life upon 
all men now. Yes, as through the disobedience of that 
one man the myriads of humanity were enrolled in 
the host of sin, so, conversely, through the obedience 
of this One Man, the myriads of humanity shall be 
enrolled in the host of the righteous. ' Had the Mosaic 
Law then no place in the purposes of God ? ' I may 
be asked. I reply, the Law came in as a provisional 
measure : its multiplicity of enactments educated the 
human conscience by creating a multiplicity of offences ; 
but, however much the catalogue of human sins has been 
swelled, God's pardoning grace has made more than 
ample provision for all. The consequence is, that, just 
as sin once wielded kingly power in inflicting death, so 
grace shall henceforth wield kingly power in bestowing that 
righteousness which issues in eternal life for humanity 
life attained through Jesus, through the Messiah, through 
our Lord ours ! 

VI. ' But,' my opponents retort, ' if this grace bears 
such a transcendent ratio to the sin, why not continue 
sinning and sinning, in order that this grace on which 
you lay such stress may go on increasing at a still faster 
rate ? ' Out upon the suggestion ! How is the case 
possible ? we have passed out of sin as truly as the 
dead man has passed out of life : can we, when thus 
dead to it, still go on living in it ? Or, if you fail to 
grasp this inference, look at it thus : do you not compre- 

124 Letters of St. Paul. vi, 3 13. 

hend that all of us, who passed by baptism into union 
with Messiah Jesus, were by baptism made sharers in 
His death ? Well then, if that baptism made us share 
His death, it must have made us share His burial too. 
It must follow that, as Messiah was raised from among 
the dead by means of the descent of His Father's glory, 
so we too, who rose with Him, are to be employed 
wholly in the activities of the New Life. For if, by 
having died like Him, we have entered into living union 
with Him, most certainly we shall not be less so in 
consequence of having risen with Him. This we recog- 
nise, that our former self was nailed to His cross with 
Him, so that that body which was the instrument of sin 
might be made impotent for evil, so that we could not any 
longer be slaves of sin. You know, the man who has 
died is incapable of sinning, as much so as if he were per- 
fectly righteous. Well, if we have died along with Mes- 
siah (and have so been accounted righteous), we have a 
right to believe that we shall also share His new life. 
For we know that Messiah, after having once risen from 
the dead, can never die again ; death can never more 
claim lordship over Him. In respect of His death, He 
passed by dying, once for all, out of the sphere of sin ; 
but, in respect of His new life, He is in living relation to 
God. In the same manner you also are to account your- 
selves to be, in relation to sin, dead men ; but in relation 
to God, living men, whose life is absorbed in the life of 
the Messiah, Jesus. Oh then, do not suffer sin to sit 
throned in your mortal part, your body, so that this 
should grovel in subjection to its own passions ! Do not 
continue to enrol your members as weapons of wicked- 
ness under the banner of sin. Nay, enrol yourselves 
once for all under the banner of God, as men who are 
now alive, though erewhile dead : and your members, 
enrol them as weapons for righteousness to wield under 

vi, 13 23. Letter to the Rowans. 125 

the banner of God. No ! sin will no more have lordship 
over you ; for you are henceforth not subjects of the Law : 
you are subjects of the Kingdom of Grace. 

' Ah then,' my opponents will cry, ' we may safely sin, 
since we are not under the uncompromising rule of the 
Law, but under the lenient sceptre of grace ! ' Out upon 
the suggestion ! Can you not see that, if you deliberately 
deliver yourselves into thraldom to any master, under com- 
pact to obey him, you have thereby surrendered your free 
will ; that you are thenceforth very thralls to him whom 
you undertake to obey ? This applies in either case 
thralls of sin, which leads down to death, or thralls of 
obedience to God, which leads up to righteousness. 
Thank God ! your thraldom to sin is a thing of the past : 
you have rendered allegiance from the heart you have 
rendered it to the New Teaching, the mould into which 
you have let your nature be run. You have been eman- 
cipated from sin ; you have made yourselves thralls to 
righteousness. In using the word ' thralls,' I am but 
employing a figure drawn from human relations, as a 
concession to the very human weakness of your compre- 
hension. Well, as I said, you did once surrender your 
members to be thralls to impurity and lawlessness, to 
sink to all depths of lawlessness. So now surrender 
these your members to be thralls to righteousness, to 
rise to all heights of holiness ! When you were thus 
thralls to sin, you were, in relation to righteousness, free 
men it had no control over your life. I ask you, then 
what harvest did you reap in those days from actions 
at the memory of which you now blush ? None for the 
goal to which those things led was death ! But now, 
you have been emancipated from sin, you have become 
thralls to God : you are reaping a harvest, your own its 
ingathering shall be holiness : the goal shall be life, 
eternal life. Ah, the pittance-wage that sin doled out 

126 Letters of St. Paul. vi, 23 vii, 6. 

to you was death ; * but the lavish bounty of God is life 
eternal, involved in your union with the Messiah, with 
Jesus our Lord ours ! 

VII. I cannot suppose you to be ignorant, my brothers, 
(since I am addressing men who have some insight into 
law) that the law claims control over a man only up to 
the end of his life. For instance, a married woman is 
bound by law to her husband so long as he lives. But if 
her husband dies, the legal claim of her husband over 
her is annulled. Well, if, during the life of her husband, 
she marry another man, she will be stigmatized as an 
adulteress ; but if her husband has died, she is unfettered 
by any legal claim, so that, though she marry another 
man, yet she is no adulteress. Your case, my brothers, 
is a parallel one : you have by the death (in which, as I 
said, you participated) of the body of the Messiah, be- 
come, in relation to the Law, dead men, so that you have 
passed under the control of Another, of Him who was 
raised from the dead in order that we might yield the 
harvest of our life to God. For, when we were in our 
former unspiritual state, those stirrings of appetite that 
lead to what the Law constitutes sins were a constantly 
actuating force in our members, making us yield a harvest 
for death's reaping. But now the Law's claim on us is 
annulled : we have escaped by death from that which 
held us prisoners ; and hence, while we are indeed in 
thrall still, it is under the new conditions of obedience to 
the Spirit's promptings, not under the old conditions of 
obedience to hard-and-fast written regulations. 

i. There is possibly a military metaphor here: the contrast 
between the soldiers' ordinary pay, the smallness and irregular pay- 
ment of which gave rise to constant grumbling and occasional 
mutiny, and the donative, or largesse, of the emperor on his acces- 
sion, which was sometimes (e.g., on the accession of the reigning 
emperor, Nero) for political reasons, very large. 

vii, 7 16. Letter to the Romans. 127 

But my opponents may urge, ' Your argument then im- 
plies that the Law and Sin are practically identical.' No 
no ! What I say is, that I should not, except through 
the agency of the Law, have had any consciousness of 
sin. For instance, I should, in gratifying desire, have had 
no guilty consciousness of lust, if the Law did not reiter- 
ate, ' Thou shalt not lust after this or that.' But non- 
moral sin took advantage of the opening given by that legal 
prohibition to become moral guilt, and made my whole 
inner nature one hot-bed of lust. For, but for Law, sin 
could have had no vital influence on character. There was 
a time when I lived unconscious of Law an animal life. 
The commandment came : sin became, from a latent, an 
active force, which meant death for me. Thus I found 
that that legal ordinance, which was designed to point 
the way to life, actually thrust me down to death. It 
was all sin's doing : this it was that seized the opportun- 
ity given by the ordinance, entrapped me, and, using the 
Law as a weapon, killed me. So in itself the Law is a 
holy thing, and each ordinance is holy and just and ben- 
eficent. ' So then,' one may retort, ' this beneficent 
thing became to you a deadly poison ? " No no ! I 
tell you, it was sin which, that its mischievous effect 
might be thrown into clear relief, used that beneficent 
thing as a weapon with which to kill me. And so the 
unutterable malignity of sin is shown by its perversion of 
the good, the legal ordinance. The Law is an effluence 
of God's Spirit : I am a creature of flesh, who have been 
sold, as though by man-stealers, into thraldom under sin. 
So real a thing is this thraldom of the body, that I 
hardly recognise my responsibility for my own actions. I 
do not find that I follow the line of conduct that I have 
purposed. I catch myself doing the very thing that I 
abhor. Well but, if my true self protests while I am in 
the very act of doing it, then I am surely taking sides 

128 Letters of St. Paul. vii, 16 viii, 3. 

with the Law, acknowledging that it is right. In that 
case, it is no longer I my true self who do that deed : 
it is the sin which haunts me. I fully recognise that in 
my other self in my animal nature no good finds a 
home. I feel the insistence of the good intention ; but 
the power of translating into action the good inten- 
tion alas, no ! Ah, it is not the good which I 
intend that I do : it is the evil which I do not 
intend that 1 am ever doing. Well, but if I do the 
very thing that I do not intend, it is no longer I my 
true self who perpetrate the deed: it is the sin that 
haunts me. Why then, I have got a clue to a law of 
my being this, that while my true self intends to do 
what is right, I am subject to the insistent pressure of 
evil. My true inner self takes sides gladly with the Law 
of God. Yet I can discern a very different law of my 
being haunting my body. It is carrying on incessant war 
against the law of my will : it is dragging me away a 
captive in the chains of that law of sin which haunts my 
body. Alas and alas for me ! who shall rescue me from 
the obsession of the body, from this living death ? 
Thank God ! oh, I thank God that He does : He does 
it through the agency of Jesus, our Messiah, our Lord ! 
Ah well, then, in my true self, in my will, I am thrall to 
the Law of God : it is but in my animal nature that I 
am thrall to the law of sin. 

VIII. No sentence of condemnation, therefore, can 
lie against those whose life is a union with the Messiah, 
with Jesus. For the Law of the Spirit, which breathes 
a life absorbed into that of the Messiah Jesus, has 
emancipated me the erewhile thrall from the law of 
sin, of death. The Mosaic Law found the task impos- 
sible : it was impotent to control the animal nature. 
God took it up ; He sent to earth His own Son in the ex- 
act semblance of our sin-ridden animal nature, sent Him 

viii, 3 15. Letter to the Romans. 129 

as a sin-offering ; and so pronounced sentence of death on 
that sin which haunted our animal nature. Thus He 
made it possible for us to fulfil the righteous demands 
of His law, now that we order our lives, not according 
to the promptings of our animal nature, but according 
to the drawings of His Spirit. Men whom the animal 
nature sways have animal tendencies : men whom the 
spiritual nature sways have spiritual tendencies. In fact, 
the tendency of the animal nature is to death, that of the 
spiritual nature is to life and heart-peace. For the ten- 
dency of the animal nature is hostile to God. It does 
not subject itself to the Law of God : in fact, it is in- 
capable of doing so. Those in whom the animal nature 
has the upper hand cannot please God. You, however, 
are not controlled by your animal nature, but by the 
Spirit of God, if God's Spirit really has its home in 
you. But if a man has not the Messiah's spirit, no fol- 
lower of the Messiah is he. On the other hand, if the 
Messiah lives in you, then, dead as your bodily self may 
be through sin, your spirit is instinct with life through 
the power of righteousness. If the Spirit of God, of 
Him who raised Jesus from the dead, has its home in 
you, then He who raised the Messiah Jesus from the 
dead will thrill with a new life your very bodies those 
mortal bodies of yours by the agency of His own 
Spirit, which now has its home in you. 

Well then, brothers, we now lie under an obligation, 
not to our animal nature, not to live according to our 
animal impulses : for, if you go on living so, you shall 
surely die. But if, through the Spirit's help, you keep 
crushing out of life the misdeeds prompted by the body, 
then you will really live. Only those who submit them- 
selves to the guidance of God's Spirit are God's sons. 
No servile spirit, no cringing spirit, is it that you have 
accepted this time : no, you have accepted a spirit which 

130 Letters of St. Paul. viii, 15 26. 

gives you the status of sons, in the rapture of which we 
cry, ' My Father, my own dear Father ! ' This very 
Spirit adds its testimony to that of our own spirit, telling 
us that we are God's children. If we are His children, 
it must follow that we are His heirs yes, heirs to God's 
wealth, co-heirs with the Messiah ! Only, to share His 
glory, we must also be prepared to share His sufferings. 

Ah well, as I estimate them, all sufferings that can 
betide in this life's span are not worth taking into account 
compared with the glory that is destined to be unveiled 
before our eyes. The eager yearning of all created things 
is waiting, waiting now for that unveiling of the Vision of 
the Sons of God. All created beings have had to submit to 
a seeming-purposeless existence not of their own choice, 
but subserving some great design of Him who so hath 
overruled all lives, yet haunted ever by a hope that they 
also, even all God's creation, shall at last be emancipated 
from this thraldom to decay, shall at last emerge into the 
liberty of that glorious state which is the heritage of the 
sons of God. All God's sentient universe, I trow, is 
sighing with one great voice, is suffering travail-throes, 
from of old until now. Nay, nor that alone ourselves 
too, though our hands already grasp the firstfruits of the 
Spirit, yet are we sighing too, our very hearts are sigh- 
ing, whilst we strain our gaze afar to descry that ransom 
of our mortal frame, the sealing of us as His sons. By 
that hope uplifted have we found deliverance. Yet hope 
once realized has passed beyond the sphere of hope 
who hopes on for the thing he has already realized ? 
Ah, but if we are hoping, hoping still for the boon as yet 
unrealized, then with unwearying patience we wait for it 
from afar. 

Yes, and His Spirit too for His compassion matches 
our yearning is ever taking our human frailty by the 
hand. We are not even sure what boons should rightly 

viii, 26 35. Letter to the Romans. 131 

be the object of our prayers ; but His Spirit His very 
Spirit is pleading ever for us with sighings such as no 
language can shape into words. Ah, but He who tracks 
the labyrinth of the heart needs no words to divine what 
the Spirit means : He knows that His Spirit intercedes 
for His hallowed ones in just the way that God desires. 
And sure am I, that, on those who love God, all things 
are with one purpose working to bring blessings yes, on 
those to whom, according to His providential plan, He 
has cried ' Come ye to me ! ' Long ere this He knew 
our hearts, long ere this He claimed us (as a man claims 
property by setting his landmarks thereon) as those 
whom He should mould into the very likeness of His 
own Son, so that he should have many brothers, himself 
the first-born. And to us whom so He called He 
gave righteousness : and us, to whom He has given 
righteousness, He has crowned with glory too. In face 
of all this, what remains for us to say ? 

$gmn of If God is on our side, 

Crtumpf) What matters who is against us ? 

in 3Jc3uj. He who spared not His own Son, 
But surrendered Him to suffering for us all, 
How can He but, in giving Him, lavish on us all things 

Who shall dare arraign God's chosen ones ? 
' God saith I am righteous who dares condemn 

me to death ? 

There is one who has died for me our Messiah 
Jesus ! 
Died ? nay, He has risen from the dead : 

He is throned at God's right hand : 
Yea, He is now interceding for me ! ' 

Who shall sever us from Messiah's love ? 
Shall affliction ? shall anguish ? shall persecution ? 

132 Letters of St. Paul. viii, 35 ix, 5. 

Shall famine ? shall privation ? 
Shall peril ? shall the beheading sword ? 
Ay, we are as they of whom it stands written, 
' For Thy sake are we massacred all through the day : 
We have been accounted as mere sheep told off for the 

Yet, amidst all this, we are the victors 
Ay, more than victors, in the might of Him who hath 
loved us ! 

Yea, of this am I persuaded : 
Neither Death, nor Life, nor Angels 
No, not the Celestial Hierarchy, 
Not ' they that excel in strength '- 
Nor the present world, nor the world to come ; 
Not the height of Heaven, 
Not the abyss of Hades, 
Nor aught else in God's creation, 
Shall avail to sever us from the love of God, 
The love incarnated in the Messiah, in Jesus, 
Our Lord ours ! 

IX. Truth unfeigned is this I speak by our Messiah's 
inspiration, and my own conscience, prompted by the 
Holy Spirit, appears as witness for me that bitter 
sorrow is mine, and anguish that gives my heart no re- 
spite. Fain, O fain would I be myself the accursed scape- 
goat, driven from our Messiah's presence, if so I might 
deliver my brothers, those who are my own flesh and 
blood the Jews ! For they are the sons of Israel : theirs 
was the sonship of God, theirs the Glory of the Visible 
Presence. With them were His covenants made; to 
them the Law was given. To them was revealed the 
Temple-ritual, to them the promises. Theirs were the 
Patriarch-fathers : yes, and, in so far as He is human, 

ix, 5 13. Letter to the Romans. 133 

theirs is the Messiah. 1 God, who is supreme over all, be 
blessed evermore for this ! Amen. 

But, mark, I am not implying that God's promise ' to 
Israel ' has been stultified. The truth is, that it is not 
all the descendants of Jacob that comprise the true Israel. 
The fact that certain men are by blood ' the seed of 
Abraham,' does not constitute them all his sons. That 
is proved by the words,' ' THE LINE OF ISAAC ONLY SHALL 
BE CALLED THY SEED.' (Gen. 21, 12). This amounts to 
saying that it is not Abraham's children by blood alone 
who are the children of God. It is only those children to 
whom the promise applied that can be reckoned as 
' Abraham's seed.' I say ' promise,' for the language of 
promise it certainly was ' ABOUT THIS TIME NEXT YEAR 


18, 10}. Sarah, observe ; though Abraham had other 
wives. The limitation did not stop there ; but, when 
Rebecca, too, was with child by that one son of Abra- 
ham (Isaac our father) when there were two sons as 
yet unborn, who had so far done no good or evil deed, 
YOUNGER. (Gen. 25, 23). In accordance with this is 
His other declaration, ' JACOB I LOVED, BUT ESAU I 
HATED.' (Mai. 1, 2, 3). Why was this ? I answer, it 
was to establish the principle that God's purpose, as 
shown in His choice of one man rather than another, is 

i. Another reading ' Messiah, who is supreme over all God 
blessed for evermore.' The great difficulty in the way of accepting 
this punctuation (and it must be remembered that the most ancient 
manuscripts have no stops at all) is that Paul nowhere else calls 
Jesus God over all, nor does he ever apply to Him the word 
evXoy^rds. He never approaches nearer to this than in Philippians 
ii 6; Colossiansi 15, ii 9; I Corinthians viii, 6; II Corinthians iv, 4. 
Of course, I Timothy iii, 16, would conclusively meet such objections, 
could 0os be accepted as the true reading. 

134 Letters of St. Paul. ix, 13 23. 

unconditional, that it depends, not on men's deeds, but 
on the good pleasure of Him who calls them to Himself. 
Shall I be met with the demand, ' Do you dare in- 
sinuate that partiality injustice, in fact is an attribute 
of God ? ' Away with the thought ! God's decision is 
beyond challenge : He says to Moses, 'I WILL HAVE 


19}. This shows that God's mercy does not depend 
on human will, or on human effort, but on His own 
fiat. Scripture records His message to Pharaoh ' FOR 


(Ex. 9, 16}. It follows, then, that God shows mercy 
to whomsoever He will, and whomsoever He will He 
confirms in their stubbornness. My opponent may 
retort, ' How, in that case, can He blame us for in- 
evitable sins ? who has ever withstood His constraining 
purpose ? ' I reply with a more fitting question Who 
are you, that you, mere human creature that you are, 
dare arraign God ? How ? SHALL THE MOULDED 


not the potter the clay at his absolute disposal, to fashion 
of the same paste the one vessel for noble, the other 
for ignoble uses? Granting that God while fully 
intending to show how awful His wrath can be, and 
to reveal all His irresponsible power yet bore very 
patiently with those vessels that brimmed with His 
wrath, and which were already made fit for destruc- 
tion, and thus acted, too, in order to make known the 
wealth of the glory that He poured over those ves- 
sels which He flooded with His mercy vessels which 
He had already prepared to stand in the light of His 

ix, 24 33. Letter to the Romans. 135 

glory ourselves, I mean, whom He has called to Him- 
self, has called not only from among the Jews, but also 
from among the Gentiles if he has done this and that, 
dare you challenge His action ? It was His ancient 
purpose : He says in the prophecy of Hosea, ' I WILL 




GOD." (Hos. 7, 10). Again, let us hear how the cry of 
Isaiah peals over Israel ' THOUGH THE NUMBER OF 


IT SHORT.' (Is. 10, 22, 23). In the same strain Isaiah 
speaks yet again ' IF THE LORD OF HOSTS HAD NOT 


What conclusion, then, shall we draw ? This that 
the Gentiles, who never ran in the race for righteousness, 
have yet grasped the prize of righteousness : but it is the 
righteousness attained through faith. On the other 
hand, Israel, who did run the race for righteousness, but 
on the track of the Law, actually failed to reach the 
goal of the Law. Why so ? Because they shaped their 
course not by faith, but in reliance on meritorious deeds. 
There was a stone set in mid-course to baulk the unwary 
feet, and they stumbled against it. It so stands recorded 

NOT BE DISAPPOINTED.' (Is. 28, 16). 

136 Letters of St. Paul. x, i 13. 

X. My brothers, my heart's yearning, my entreaty 
to God, is for my own people, is that they may yet be 
saved. I can bear witness to their jealousy for God's 
honour: but I say that it is unenlightened. They 
steadily ignore the righteousness which God demands ; 
they try to set up a private standard of righteousness, 
and so have practically rebelled against the righteous- 
ness of God. The whole Law, in fact, leads up to the 
Messiah as the source of righteousness for every one who 
trusts in Him. Moses, for instance, writes regarding the 
righteousness attained by observance of the Law, ' THE 


did) SHALL FIND LIFE IN IT.' (Lei). 18, 5). But here is 
the language describing the righteousness attained by 
ASCEND UP TO THE HEAVEN ? " (meaning, to bring down 
thence the Messiah, the incarnate Word) OR, " WHO 


to bring up from the dead the Messiah, the incarnate 
Word) : but what does it say ? This ' THE WORD 


(Deut. 30, 12-14}. This is the Word, the subject of our 
faith, which we proclaim. We proclaim that, if on your 
lips be the acknowledgment of Jesus as your Lord, and in 
your heart the belief that God did really raise Him from 
the dead, you shall find salvation. For with the inmost 
heart must we believe, as the first step towards attaining 
righteousness ; but secret belief will not suffice with the 
lips must the profession of that belief be made, as the in- 
dispensable condition for salvation. The Scripture bears 
me out : it says, ' No ONE WHO BELIEVES IN HIM SHALL BE 
DISAPPOINTED.' (Is. 28, 16}. No one, observe no dis- 
tinction here between Jew and non-Jew. The same great 
Being is Lord of them all : His hands are full of blessing 
for all who at any time call upon Him. ' EVERY ONE,' it 

x, 13 xi, i. Letter to the Romans. 137 

BE SAVED ' (Joel 2, 32). Well now, tell me this first, how 
is it possible for men to call upon a Lord in whom they 
have never yet believed ? secondly, how can men believe 
in a Lord of whom they have never yet heard ? thirdly, 
how can men have heard of Him, except from the lips of 
His own herald ? fourthly, how can any do the office of 
heralds, unless they have been so commissioned by the 
Lord as we have been ? To 7/5 that Scripture refers, 


Alas ! all have not given heed to the Glad-tidings. It 
has ever been so. Isaiah says of his own message, ' LORD, 


(/5. 53, /). It follows, that belief must depend upon hav- 
ing heard the Message ; and the only Message possible is 
the proclamation of the Messiah. Again, can men say 
they have not heard it ? They cannot ! else, what 

WORLD WENT THEIR MESSAGE ? ' (P5. 19, 4). Well, 

but, ' Perhaps Israel had no warning of this Calling of 
the Gentiles ? ' He had. Moses, to begin with, says, 


Deut. 32, 21). Nay, Isaiah throws off all reserve : 


he turns upon Israel, crying, ALL THROUGH THE DAY 


XI, Has it come to this, then, that God has repudi- 
ated His own people? No! Oh no! Why, I am an 

138 Letters of St. Paul. xi, I n. 

Israelite myself. I am of the seed of Abraham, of the 
tribe of Benjamin. No, God has not repudiated His own 
people, the people whom He marked out for His own so 
long ago. You surely must remember that scene in the 
life of Elijah, and the language of the record how the 
prophet, pleading with God against Israel, cries, ' LORD, 


LIFE ! ' (/ Kings 19, 10, 14). Well, what says the Voice 

NEVER BOWED A KNEE TO BAAL.' (7 Kings 19, 18). 

In like manner, even in this our day, there has 
appeared a remnant those who by God's free grace 
are His chosen ones. But, inasmuch as it is by His 
free grace, His choice is not conditioned by works of 
theirs, the era for which is past : were it otherwise, the 
term 'free grace' would be a mere misnomer. What 
follows? This, that what Israel has, through all his 
history, been seeking, he has not attained. God's chosen 
ones have attained it ; but the rest have been callously 
indifferent. The words of Scripture are applicable to 


(Is. 29, 10) and so it has continued to this day. David, 
with equal appropriateness, says, ' LET THEIR VERY 


(Ps. 69, 22, 23). For ever ? Does their stumbling, then, 
involve an irretrievable fall ? No ! O no ! Nay, but 
their lapse has left the field clear for the salvation of 
the Gentiles, and should have the effect of stirring up 

xi, ii 22. Letter to the Romans. 139 

the Jews to emulous striving after a like blessing. Ah 
then, if that very lapse of theirs was so fraught with 
blessing to the world, if even their shortcoming gave 
such riches to the Gentiles, how much more blessing 
shall their full reinstatement bring ! 

I turn now to you, the Gentiles. In so far as I am 
the apostle to the Gentiles, I insist upon the grandeur of 
my function if only to stir up to emulation the Jews, 
my own flesh and blood, and so to rescue some at least 
of them. Think of the issue at stake if their rejection 
has involved the reconciliation of the rest of humanity, 
what shall their re-acceptance involve ? surely a very 
Life from the Dead ! And this is their inalienable heri- 
tage ; for, observe when the first-fruits (Abraham and 
the Patriarchs) become hallowed (as in the ceremony of 
the heave-offering), the whole mass of dough (their des- 
cendants), to which they belong, shares in the consecra- 
tion. To change the figure : if the root (Abraham again) 
be holy, so are the branches (his children). And even 
supposing some of those branches have been snapped off 
from the parent-stock, and you, the Gentile, a slip of 
wild-olive, have been grafted into their place, and so have 
become a sharer in the root's sap and in the fertility of 
the olive, beware of assuming airs of superiority over 
those branches. If you are inclined to look down on 
them, let this reflection sober you it is not you that sup- 
port the root : it is the root that supports you. ' Ah 
but,' you will be saying, branches have been snapped 
off, that I I might be grafted in their place ! ' Quite 
so it was through unfaith that they were snapped off, 
and it is only by faith that you stand where you do. 
There is no ground for arrogance here, but rather for 
dread. Think if God spared not those branches which 
had an inherited claim to their place, be sure that He 
will not spare you either. Fix your eyes on God's good- 

140 Letters of St. Paul. xi, 22 31. 

ness, if you will ; but fix them on His severity too. 
Those lapsed ones have experienced His severity : you 
are proving His goodness but only so long as you com- 
port yourself in strict accordance with that goodness ; 
else, you also shall be hewn away. Yes, and those Jews 
too, if they do not remain obstinate in their unbelief, 
shall be grafted in again, since for God it is no impossi- 
bility to graft them in again. Why, if you have been 
hewn away from what is, in its very nature, a mere wild- 
olive, and have been, by a process which is the very 
opposite of the natural one, grafted on to a fruitful olive, 
is it not much more reasonable to expect that these, 
which have a natural affinity with it, shall be regrafted 
on to their parent-tree ? 

I think it is time, my brothers, that you should learn 
this Secret of the Initiated, (it may save you from over- 
estimating your own importance), that the partial 
obduracy which has befallen Israel will last only until 
the full ingathering of the Gentiles has been secured, 
and then, under these conditions, will follow the salvation 
of all Israel. This is the import of that prophecy, 


SINS.' (/s. 27, 9). From the point of view of their 
non-acceptance of the Glad-tidings, they may be God's 
foes you are profiting by that : but from the point 
of view of God's irrevocable choice, they are still, for 
their Fathers' sakes, God's dear ones. God, in fact, 
does not repent of bounty once bestowed, nor with- 
draw an invitation once given. You too were once 
disobedient to God ; but now, through stepping into the 
place they vacated through disobedience, you have ob- 
tained mercy. Correspondingly, they are temporarily 

xi, 31 xii, 6. Letter to the Romans. 141 

disobedient ; but, as a result of the mercy shown to you, 
they too shall obtain mercy. God shut the door on them 
all when they passed into the prison-cell of disobedience, 
only with the intention of having mercy on all. O 
fathomless abyss of God's rich bounty, of His wisdom, 
of His knowledge ! Who can explore His decisions, 
who track out His paths ? ' WHO HATH DIVINED THE PUR- 
HIM ? ' (Is. 40, 13). l W'HO EVER FIRST GAVE AUGHT TO 


(yob 41, 11). From Him their Source flow all things ; by 
Him are they upheld ; to Him, their Consummation, all 
things tend. Glory to Him through the eternities! Amen. 

XII. I appeal to you, then, by all these compassions 
of God, O my brothers bring your lives, and set them 
by the altar, as a sacrifice, a living one, a hallowed one, 
acceptable to God. The necessity of this rite of conse- 
cration follows from all the argument. Do not conform 
to the externalities of this world ; nay, let your charac- 
ters be transformed by the birth of a new life-purpose, 
so that you may put God's design to the test of your own 
experience, and so prove how kind, how gladdening, how 
flawless it is. 

Now I have a warning for you, prompted by the divine 
grace bestowed on me and I address it to all who are 
among you : do not be uplifted with unjustifiable no- 
tions of your importance. Let your thoughts tend to 
sober views, proportioned to the measure of faith which 
God has allotted to each man. Just as in our bodies we 
have many members, all of which have not the same 
function, so we, numerous as we are, compose collectively 
one body in our union with the Messiah, and as individual 
members are mutually dependent. Well, possessing as 
we do gifts which differ according to the special grace 
bestowed on each of us, let us use them accordingly. He 

142 Letters of St. Paul. xii, 6 20. 

whose gift is inspired eloquence must have regard to the 
symmetrical presentation of the Faith : he who has a gift 
for administration must not be above his administrative 
work : let him whose gift lies in exposition cultivate that 
gift : he whose gift is exhortation, let him not travel out 
of his province : he who has wealth to distribute must do 
it without affectation. If your department be the direc- 
tion of others' labours, stimulate them by being energetic 
yourself. If you come with sympathy to sorrow, bring 
God's sunlight in your face. Let there be no pretence 
about your love. Loathe all wickedness : wed yourselves 
to goodness. In mutual love to the brethren be as mem- 
bers of one family. Give respectful precedence to one 
another. In earnest endeavour be no laggards : your 
spirit should be fairly seething with enthusiasm while you 
are toiling as the Lord's bondmen. Let your hope be 
something exultant : in affliction never flinch. In prayer 
be intensely in earnest. Share your wealth with necessit- 
ous believers. Be on the watch for opportunities of giving 
loving welcome to strangers. Shower blessings on those 
who persecute you : beware of imprecating judgments on 
them bless them. Be sympathetic be glad with those 
that are glad ; mingle your tears with those who weep. 
Be all of one heart and soul : do not be exclusive, but 
walk hand in hand with the lowly. Do not overestimate 
your own discernment. Requite to no man wrong for 
wrong. Be careful to conform to the proprieties, the de- 
cencies, of human society. So far as you can without 
sacrificing your principles, live in peace with all men. 
Never seek revenge for your own wrongs, dear friends : 
leave the field clear to God's wrath. It stands written, 
THE LORD.' Deut. 32, 35). Nay, but ' IF THINE ENEMY 


xii, 20 xiii, 10. Letter to the Romans. 143 

UPOX HIS HEAD,' (Prov. 25, 21, 22). Do not let your- 
self be conquered by evil : conquer evil by kindness. 

XIII. Let every person render loyal submission to 
government authority. No authority exists save by God's 
sanction ; such as do exist have been appointed by 
God. It follows that whoever rebels against authority 
is a rebel against God's arrangement, and rebels shall 
bring down on themselves the judgment of God. Magis- 
trates are a terror not to good, but to bad actions. Do 
you wish to have no reason to dread authority ? Act 
uprightly : you will then earn its approval. The magis- 
trate should be, in your eyes, God's steward, appointed 
for the good of society. But if you act wrongfully, you 
may well fear : it is not for nothing that the magistrate 
is invested with the power of life and death. He is 
God's steward, the exponent of God's wrath, inflicting 
His vengeance on the evil-doer. Therefore, you are abso- 
lutely bound to loyal submission, not only through dread 
of that wrath, but also through the claims of conscience. 
On the same principle you also pay taxes ; for the magis- 
trates are administrators under God : it is to nothing less 
than His work that they devote their energies. Pay to 
all men their just dues taxes to whom taxes are due, 
custom-duties to whom custom-duties are due, respect to 
whom respect is due, homage to whom homage is due. 

Do not leave a debt to any man unpaid. There is, 
however, one perpetual debt, that of loving one another. 
He who loves his neighbour has thereby fulfilled all the 
requirements of the Law. For, take the prohibitions 



COVET' (Ex. 20, 13 77), and so on they are all 
summed up in this one injunction, 'Tnou SHALT LOVE 
THY NEIGHBOUR AS THYSELF.' (Lev. 19, 18}. Love can 
perpetrate no wrong against a neighbour: it follows 

144 Letters of St. Paul. xiii, 10 xiv, 4. 

that the complete fulfilment of the Law is found in 

You will find a special motive for doing all this, if you 
recognise the imminence of a great crisis. Yes, it is 
high time for you to start up from slumber. Our Great 
Deliverance is nearer to-day than when we first believed. 

The night is far spent : 
of tfje The Day is drawn near ! [ness ; 

Let us disarray ourselves of the deeds of dark- 
And let us array ourselves in the armour of 

the light. 

As in the face of the day, decorously let us live 
Not in revellings and drunkenness, 
Not in licentiousness and debauchery, 
Not in wrangling and jealousy. 
Nay, but clothe you with the nature of our Lord, 

Of Jesus the Messiah. 

Ah, let not the body, and the pampering of its cravings, 
be your life's aim ! 

XIV. In the case of a man who overlays his faith 
with tender scrupulosities, welcome him as a brother 
into your church not, however, into an atmosphere of 
disputatious casuistry. One man's faith makes no dis- 
tinction between articles of food ; another, in his sensi- 
tive scrupulosity, dares eat herbs alone. Let not the un- 
trammelled eater treat with contempt the abstainer ; and 
let not the abstainer sit in judgment on the non-abstainer. 
I tell you, God has taken the man into His service. 
Who then are you, that you should presume to sit in 
judgment on the household-servant of another ? With 
his own master rests the decision whether he acts rightly 
or wrongly. ' He is right,' will be that decision ; for 
the Lord's prerogative it is to pronounce him in the 

xiv, 5 16. Letter to the Romans. 145 

right. This man decides for the superior sacredness of 
one day as compared with another : that man holds that 
all are equally sacred. The real essential is, that each 
must take his own line upon clear, full, personal convic- 
tion. He who attaches special significance to a certain 
day does so in the Lord's service. So also the non-ab- 
stainer eats in the Lord's service, since he thanks God 
for his food ; while the abstainer abstains in the 
Lord's service ; he too thanks God for what he does eat. 
The fact is, not one of us lives for himself, not one of us 
dies for himself. If we live, for the Lord we live ; if we 
die, for the Lord we die. Whether, then, we live or die, 
we belong to the Lord. It was, indeed, with this object 
that Messiah died and came to life, that He might be- 
come Lord both of the dead and of the living. You then, 
the abstainer how dare you presume to sit in judgment 
on your brother ? Or you, again, the non-abstainer how 
dare you presume to treat your brother with contempt ? 
It is at God's bar that we shall all have to present our- 
selves. For it stands written, ' As I LIVE, SAITH THE 
It follows then, that it is to God alone that each one of 
us is to be answerable for his own actions. 

Let us, then, continue no more to judge one another : 
nay, but let this be your judgment, that it is wrong to set 
in your brother's path anything at which he may stumble 
or be revolted. I know, nay, I am convinced, as one in 
union with Messiah, that nothing is, in itself, ceremoni- 
ally unclean for us. Still, for the man who accounts this 
or that to be unclean, for him it is unclean. Only, if 
your brother is daily pained by what you eat, you have 
ceased to live by the law of love. Do not persist in 
ruining him for whom Messiah died, for the sake of an 
article of food. Let not your justifiable actions be such 

146 Letters of St. Paul. xiv, 16 xv, 5. 

as to be open to misconstruction. The Kingdom of God 
is not a matter of eating and drinking : it is righteous- 
ness, heart-peace, and joy in the presence of the Holy 
Spirit. He who in this respect surrenders his own free- 
dom to Messiah is acceptable in God's sight ; in men's 
he is of tested worth. Well then, let us set two objects 
before us the cause of peace, and, in our mutual rela- 
tions, the upbuilding of the fabric of the church. Do 
not, for the sake of an article of food, unbuild what is 
God's work. As I said, all things are for us ceremoni- 
ally clean ; but ill is it for that man, who by his eating 
puts a hindrance in another's path. Better than that 
would it be neither to eat meat, nor to drink wine, nor to 
take anything which may make your brother's feet 
stumble. As for the liberal faith which you have, keep 
it to yourself, displaying it only to God. Well for him 
who, in connection with what he finds so fit and proper, 
has no cause to pass judgment on himself ! It is not a 
slight risk that you will thus avoid. If the man who 
has scruples eats through your example that which his 
conscience disallows, he stands condemned before God ; 
for all action that has not its source in faith is sin. 

XV. Yes, we of the robust faith have a duty to take 
up the burden of the tender scruples of the weak ones, 
not to aim at consulting our own pleasure only. Let 
each of us try to make his neighbour happy, keeping in 
view his true interests, aiming still at building up the 
structure of his spiritual life. Well may we, for even 
Messiah never once consulted His own pleasure. Those 
words of Scripture apply to Him ' THE RAILINGS OF 


(Ps. 69, 9). Yes, all things thus recorded of old were re- 
corded for our instruction, that we, through patient en- 
durance, and through the consolation drawn from those 
Scriptures, might hold fast our hope. Now may that God 

xv, 5 16. Letter to the Romans. 147 

who gives the power of patient endurance, who supplies 
consolation, grant to you to attain mutual unanimity on 
the lines marked out by Jesus the Messiah, that with 
united hearts and voices you may glorify God, the Father 
of our Lord Jesus the Messiah. Thus receive to your 
hearts one another, even as Messiah received you ; and 
so shall you subserve the glory of God. For Messiah, 
I must remind you, came as the Servant of Man first, 
of the circumcised Jews, to vindicate the truth of God, 
by confirming the promises given to the Fathers of 
our race ; secondly, of the Gentiles, to give them 
reason to glorify God for His uncovenanted mercy to 
them. This too was foretold in Scripture. Thus 


PRAISES.' (Ps. 18, 49}. Again, ' EXULT, YE GEN- 
TILES, ALONG WITH HlS OWN PEOPLE.' (Deilt. 32, 43). 



117, /). Once more, Isaiah says, 'THERE SHALL BE 
REST THEIR HOPE. (Is. 11, 10). May the God who 
vouchsafes to you that same hope fill you with all joy 
and peace through the exercise of your faith, so that 
this hope of yours may be an overflowing fountain, by 
the power of His Holy Spirit. 

I am satisfied, my brothers I know it without having 
met you that you are rich in goodness already, that you 
are filled with perfect spiritual illumination, that you are 
qualified even to admonish one another. Still, I have 
written to you quite unreservedly, partly because I 
wanted to recall to your memory the foregoing principles. 
I have done so by virtue of the grace bestowed on me 
from God's hand the grace which commissioned me 

148 Letters of St. Paul. xv, 16 26. 

to be the almoner of the gift of Messiah Jesus to the 
Gentiles. I may call myself the officiating priest of the 
Glad-tidings of God, my charge being to make the 
sacrificial offering of the Gentiles, consecrated by the 
Holy Spirit, acceptable to God. I have, then, legitimate 
cause to exult in the presence of Jesus the Messiah in 
the work done for God. Of course I shall not presume 
thus to speak of any work, except what has been actually 
done by myself as an instrument in the hands of Messiah. 
Of me has He made use to secure the submission of the 
Gentiles, has armed me with arguments, has strengthen- 
ed me for action, has accompanied my work with the 
might of signs and marvels, in fact, with the might of the 
Holy Spirit. Hence, starting from Jerusalem, and mak- 
ing a complete circuit of all countries as far as Illyricum, 
I have proclaimed in their entirety the Glad-tidings of the 
Messiah. My ambition has been all along to proclaim 
the Glad-tidings not in places where Messiah's name, 
Jesus, was already known I am not the man to usurp 
for my building another workman's foundation but to 
act on the principle embodied in these words of Scripture, 
SHALL UNDERSTAND.' (Is. 52, 75). 

All this press of work has again and again hindered me 
from coming to you. Now, however, I can find no fresh 
field of labour in this country, and I have been for many 
years most anxious to visit you. So, whenever I do start 
on my intended journey to Spain, I am hoping to see you 
as I pass through Rome. Then, I trust, you will speed 
me on my way thither, after I have first to some extent 
enjoyed your society. For the present, however, I must 
postpone the pleasure, as I have to travel to Jerusalem, 
to distribute relief to the members of the church there. 
This task falls to me, because the Macedonian and Achaian 

xv, 26 xvi, 4. Letter to the Romans. 149 

churches have cheerfully made among themselves a con- 
tribution for the poor members of the church at Jeru- 
salem. Yes, they have done it with hearty good will ; 
though, to be sure, it is no more than the discharge of a 
debt. For, if these Gentiles have obtained a share in 
the spiritual blessings of the Jews, the least they can do 
is to levy on themselves for the supply of the bodily 
necessities of the Jews. Well, as I was saying, after 
completing this task, and after seeing this harvest of our 
efforts safely delivered to them, I mean to pass through 
you on my journey to Spain. Sure am I, that, when 
I do come to you, my coming will be crowned with 
the abundant blessing of Messiah. 

I entreat you, my brothers, by the dear name of our 
Lord, of Jesus the Messiah, by all the love inbreathed 
by the Spirit, to unite with me in strong wrestling of 
prayer to God on my behalf. Pray that 1 may be 
rescued from the unbelievers in Judaea. Pray that my 
ministrations of relief to Jerusalem may be graciously 
accepted by the members of that Church. If all goes 
well, I shall (if it be the will of God) most gladly come 
to you, and snatch an interval of rest in your society. 
May God, the Giver of Peace, be with you all ! Amen. 

XVI. I have to bespeak your welcome for the bearer 
of this, Phoebe, a member of our society here. She is 
an active worker in the church at Kenchreae. I trust 
that you will, for the love of our Lord, give her such a 
welcome as is worthy of believers, and will assist her 
in any business in which she may require your help. 
Many there are whom she has shielded from suffering, 
myself among the number. 

Convey my greetings to Prisca and Aquila, my fellow- 
toilers in the cause of Messiah Jesus. To shield my life, 
they once laid their own necks beneath the axe. Not 
only I, but also all the Gentile churches, are grateful to 

150 Letters of St. Paul. xvi, 5 19. 

them. Greet also the congregation that meets in their 
house. Greet on my behalf my dear friend Epaenetus : 
he was the first sheaf of the harvest reaped from Asia for 
Messiah. Greet Mary from me : she has worked hard for 
you. Greet Andronicus and Junia, my fellow-country- 
men once my fellow- prisoners too : distinguished are 
they among our missionaries : ay, and they found life in 
Messiah before me. Greet Ampliatus : dear is he to me 
through our life in the Lord. Greet Urbanus, my fellow- 
toiler in Messiah's cause ; Stachys too, my dear, dear 
friend. Greet Apelles, tested and tried as he is in 
Messiah's work. Greet from me the believers of Aristo- 
bulus' household. Greet Herodion, my fellow-country- 
man. Greet those of Narcissus' household who have life 
in our Lord. Greet Tryphaena and Tryphosa they are 
ever toiling in our Lord's cause. Greet Persis dear 
woman ! she has worked hard in our Lord's service. 
Greet Rufus the Lord's chosen one, and his mother a 
mother has she been to me too. My greetings to Asyn- 
critus, Phlegon, Hermes, Patrobas, Hermas, and the rest 
of their circle our brothers all. Greetings to Philologus 
and Julia, to Nereus and his sister, to Olympas, and to 
all their circle God's hallowed ones are they. Greet 
each other with the kiss of consecration. The churches 
send their greetings to you, all the churches of Messiah. 
Now I beg you, my brothers, to be on your guard 
against the men who are exciting those notorious dissen- 
sions, and putting those obstructions in the path of be- 
lievers, all contrary to the teaching which you received. 
Shun them. Such men are no bondmen of our Lord 
Messiah : they are slaves to their own base appetites ; 
and by their sanctimonious cant they delude the hearts 
of guileless people. They have probably marked you 
for their prey, for the news of your submission to Jesus 
has reached all the churches. While, therefore, I rejoice 

xvi, 19 27. Letter to the Romans. 151 

over you, I do want you to be wise for all good ends, but 
too innocent to be used as tools for evil ends. The God 
who gives peace shall bruise this Satan under your feet 
ere long. 

May the grace of our Lord, of Jesus the Messiah, be 
ever with you ! 

Timotheus, my fellow -labourer, sends greeting to you, 
as do Lucius, and Jason, and Sosipater, all fellow- 
countrymen of mine. 

/, Tertius, who write this letter for the love of our 
Lord, greet you. 

Gaius, at whose house I am staying, who also shows 
hospitality to all members of our church, greets you. 
Erastus, the city-treasurer, and Quartus our brother, 
both send greeting. 

To Him who alone has power to make you stand 
strong in that faith which is the essence of the Glad-ti- 
dings that I have published, of the proclamation of Jesus 
the Messiah, which is one with the revelation of that 
mystic secret which through immemorial ages has re- 
mained unuttered, and has been unveiled now, and, sup- 
ported by the testimony of prophetic writings, has, by the 
appointment of the Eternal God, been made known to 
all the Gentiles, that they may believe and obey to 
Him, God the only wise, be offered, through Jesus the 
Messiah, glory for evermore. Amen. 


THE narrative of the Acts breaks off at the commence- 
ment of St. Paul's imprisonment. We are told that the 
apostle lived for two years in his own hired apartment 
(not ' house '), a floor, or portion of a floor, in one of 
those huge lodging-houses which have been always a 
feature of Rome. One room was probably all he could 
afford (living as he did on the charity of the Philippmn 
Church) : here he lived, pending his trial : his friends 
might visit him (there was nearly always one at least 
staying with him) : those who wished to hear him talk 
and preach might assemble there : but he could not him- 
self go abroad. He was chained to some soldier of the 
Guard all the time ; and so, though he was not yet in a 
common dungeon, this room, whose bare walls bounded 
his horizon night and day, was for him a prison. 



ABOUT 62 A.D. 

The Persons addressed. It was at Philippi that the 
first Christian church was founded in Europe by St. 
Paul. Here the cry, ' Come over into Macedonia and 
help us ! ' received from him its first practical answer. 
Here he enjoyed the loving hospitality of Lydia : here 
he endured the outrage for which the magistrates had to 
apologise : here the prison became a temple of God and 
Christ. It was to the Philippians that, of all his con- 
verts, Paul looked back with most loving affection, with 
most unwavering confidence : from them alone would he 
consent to accept anything to relieve his personal neces- 
sities. When, by his imprisonment at Rome, he was 
prevented from visiting the churches, it was 1 to write 
to the Philippians that he first took up that pen which 
he had by this time proved to be a mightier weapon 
for the Master's service than even his tongue had been. 

Why it was written. A member of the Philippian 
church, named Epaphroditus, came to Rome bearing a 
pecuniary contribution (the fourth) from that church, for 
the apostle's needs. While there, his visitor was attacked 
by an illness which brought him to death's door. News 
of this caused great distress among his friends in Mace- 
donia. On his recovery, weak and shattered as he was, 

i. The order of the Epistles of the First Imprisonment is matter 
of dispute ; but the above is the opinion of Lightfoot and many 
other scholars. 

154 Letters of St. Paul. i, i 7. 

he longed for home ; and Paul sent by him this letter, 
which is distinguished from all the rest by the fact that 
he has to blame his converts for no errors of doctrine, to 
censure them for no irregularities of life. Its leading 
exhortation is ' Rejoice ! in spite of all you have to 
bear.' It was a strong, manly church, and its one peril 
was over-independence. The prowling mongrels of the 
Judaizing party, who had made havoc of the Galatian 
church, against whom he had warned and armed the Ro- 
man church, had not ventured to invade loyal Macedonia 
yet ; but, as he believed that they were skulking near 
the fold, he says (iii, 2), ' Take heed of those dogs ! '- 
implying that, while they would fain discourage believers 
by telling them that they were unclean in God's sight, 
unless they submitted to circumcision, it was they who 
were really unclean before Him. 


Paul and Timotheus, bondservants of Messiah Jesus, 
to all believers whose life is in Jesus, who 
dwell at Philippi, along with their church-overseers and 

Grace be to you, and heart-peace, from God 
our Father, and from our Lord, Jesus the Messiah. 

I do thank my God for all my memories of you. Al- 
ways, in all my prayers for you for all of you it is 
from a glad heart that I put up each prayer. I thank 
Him for your helpfulness in speeding the Glad-tidings, 
from the first day you heard it until now. Of this thing, 
if of nothing else, am I confident, that He who has be- 
gun His work, His good work, in your hearts, will go on 
perfecting it, right up to the Day of the Coming of Mes- 
siah Jesus. Indeed, I have a right to entertain this con- 
fidence with respect to you all, because I bear you ever 

i, 7 13. Letter to the Philippians. 155 

in my heart. Both in my imprisonment, and in my vin- 
dication of the Glad-tidings and establishment of its 
truth, I have felt that you have all had your share in the 
grace bestowed on me. God is my witness how I yearn 
for you, for all of you, with a heart which is one with the 
heart of Messiah Jesus ! And this is my prayer, that 
your love may rise higher and higher to its fullest de- 
velopment in recognition of the truth, and in a compre- 
hensive grasp of its application, thus furnishing you with 
a sure test of what is true excellence, so that you may 
remain untainted by error, unstumbling amidst obstacles, 
till the Day of Messiah's Appearing, bearing the while a 
full harvest of righteousness, attained through Jesus our 
Messiah, and redounding to the glory and praise of God. 
Now, my brothers, I want you to be under no misap- 
prehension the truth is, that what has here befallen me 
has, so far from justifying your fears, resulted in giving 
a fresh impetus to the Glad-tidings. So much is this 
the case, that my imprisonment has become the general 
topic of talk (as being in Messiah's cause 1 ) through all 

i. This would seem to have constituted its main interest for the 
troops and population of Rome. The expectation among the Jews of 
the appearance of a Conquering Messiah, and their fierce readiness 
to rise in revolt against Rome at the summons of any false Messiah, 
had long made the name ' Messiah ' as ominous to Roman, as 
Mahdi ' has been to English ears. When, therefore, it became 
known that the central fact of Paul's preaching was that the 
Messiah had already appeared, that his kingdom was not of this 
world, and so did not involve insurrection against Rome, when, 
moreover, it was known that this new faith had actually been 
adopted by thousands of Jews, both in Palestine and throughout 
the empire, we may well imagine that the apostle's presence would 
create something like a sensation, and that the general feeling at 
Rome would be in his favour. Both government and people would 
be inclined to regard such propaganda as worthy of encouragement ; 
and this may in some measure account for the bolder attitude of his 
brother Christians. 

156 Letters of St. Paul i, 13 25. 

the vast barracks of the Household Troops, and, indeed, 
among the population of Rome generally. Nay, more, 
most of the brethren, having, through my imprisonment, 
learned to put their trust in the Lord, are growing bolder 
than ever to speak the Word fearlessly. Some persons 
there are, it is true, who are heralding Messiah's Coming 
out of mere jealousy and factiousness, but others do so in 
a loyal spirit. Those who are animated by love do it 
because they know that I am the appointed champion of 
the Glad-tidings. Those animated by party-spirit are an- 
nouncing Messiah's Coming from no pure motives, but 
thinking to aggravate my imprisonment by persecution. 
What then ? after all, one way or the other, whether 
insincerely or sincerely, Messiah is still proclaimed ; and 
in this fact I rejoice ay, and shall yet rejoice. For sure 
am I that for me the outcome of all this will be salva- 
tion, through your intercession with God, and through 
the strength supplied to me by the Spirit of Jesus the 
Messiah. This accords with my own eager expectation 
and hope, that I shall in no respect be disappointed, but 
that, as at all other times, so now, by my fearless out- 
spokenness Messiah shall be exalted in this body of mine 
be it by my life, or by my death. For (if I could 
think of myself alone) for me life is absorption in 
Messiah : death ah, that is gain ! Yet yet if to live 
on in this body be yet reserved for me, this will mean 
seeing more fruit still of my toil. Life ? death ? which 
to choose I cannot discern. Oh, I am in a strait be- 
twixt the two, for the yearning that I feel to sail away 
from earth, and to haven me with Messiah. Better, ay, 
far better were this ! Yet, for me to tarry on in this 
body is, for your sake, the more pressing need. And so, 
since I am sure of this, something tells me that I shall 
still abide in life, shall tarry on, a companion to all of you, 
to further your spiritual progress, to enhance your joy in 

i, 26 ii, 5. Letter to the Philippians. 157 

believing. So will you have abundant ground for exulta- 
tion in Messiah Jesus on my account, when I visit you 

One caution only let your life as members of one 
Commonwealth be worthy of the Glad-tidings of the 
Messiah, so that, whether I do come and see you, or 
whether I must still be afar, and only hear news of you, 
I may know that you are standing firm, animated by one 
spirit, may know that with united soul you are working 
strenuously shoulder to shoulder for the faith of the 
Glad-tidings, may know that you are not cowed one 
whit by your adversaries. Their failure to daunt you is 
clear evidence an actual sign from God for them, that 
their destruction is imminent, but for you, that salvation 
is yours. For to you, to you has the privilege been freely 
given, in Messiah's cause not only to believe on Him, 
but also in His cause to bear suffering. So will you be 
maintaining the same struggle whereof you once saw my 
championship, whereof you now hear of my champion- 

II. I appeal to you then, by all the encouragement 
you find in Messiah's nearness, by all love's comforting 
power, by all your common share in God's Spirit in the 
name of all heart-yearnings I beseech you, of all pitying 
sympathy fill up the measure of my joy, by being one 
in purpose, cherishing the same love ; one in soul, anim- 
ated by the same aspirations. Let there be no thought 
of factiousness, none of empty arrogance ; but, in the 
true spirit of humility, still regard your fellows as superior 
to yourselves. Do not have an eye each to his own in- 
terests, but each to the interests of his neighbours. 
Let the same purpose inspire you as was in Messiah 

158 Letters of St. Paul. ii, 614. 

Hgmn He, even when he subsisted in the form of 
of tfje God, 

Incarnation. Did not selfishly cling to His prerogative of 

equality with God : 
Nay, tenantless of all that glory, 
He assumed the form of a bondslave, 
And appeared in the likeness of man. 
So was He found on earth as a man in out- 
ward seeming, 

And abased Himself in rendering submission, 
even to the death 

A death upon the Cross ! 
Because He stooped so low, God uplifted 

Him very high, 

And hath freely given Him The Name 

The Name that is above every name, decreeing 

' In the name of Jesus shall every knee bend 

in prayer, 
Alike of dwellers in heaven, on earth, in the 

And every tongue shall utter this confession, 

" Jesus the Messiah is Lord ! " 
So rendering glory to God the Father.' 

Therefore, my dear ones, in accordance with the 
obedience you have always rendered, do you not 
merely with such enthusiasm as you would display if I 
were among you, but, since I am far away, with much 
more work out, with fear and self-distrust, your own sal- 
vation. You have not to do it in your unaided strength : 
it is God who is all the while supplying the impulse, giv- 
ing you the power to resolve, the strength to perform, the 
execution of His good-pleasure. Do it all without mutual 
fault-findings, without disputings, that you may show 
yourselves blameless, uncontaminated, irreproachable 

ii, 15 28. Letter to the Philippians. 159 

children of God, in the midst of a society morally 
warped, spiritually perverted, amongst whom you shine 
out clearly, like stars in the world's sky, holding out to 
it the light of the Word of Life. So shall I exult in an- 
ticipation of the Day of Messiah's Coming, in the thought 
that I have not run my race for a phantom prize, nor 
toiled for an elusive wage. Yea, and if I am not suffered 
to see that day yea, though my life be now at point to 
be shed as wine over the burnt sacrifice and priestly ser- 
vice of your faith, still I rejoice, still I share the joy of 
all of you. Do you, too, no less rejoice, and share my 

Still, I do hope I rest that hope on our Lord Jesus 
to send Timotheus very soon to you. I too want to be 
cheered by getting news of you. I send him, for I have 
no one else who is heart and soul with me, no one who 
is sure to devote himself unselfishly to your interests. 
All the others are trying to advance their own interests, 
not the cause of Jesus the Messiah. But you know his 
sterling worth : you know that, as the service of a son to 
a father, so has his service been in helping me to spread 
the Glad-tidings. Him, then, I am hoping to send 
forthwith, as soon as I can conjecture what will be my 
fate. Yet I am confident, trusting as I do in the Lord, 
that I myself also shall soon come to you. I have 
thought it necessary also to send to you Epaphroditus, 
my brother, my fellow-worker, my fellow-soldier, who 
came as your envoy and supplied my necessities. He 
has been home-sick for all of you, and very depressed, 
because you had heard of his illness. It was quite true : 
he was brought by illness to death's door. But God 
had compassion on him, and not on him alone, but also 
on me, that I might not have sorrow heaped on sorrow. 
So I have been all the more eager to send him, that you 
may once more be gladdened by the sight of him, and 

160 Letters of St. Paul. ii, 28 iii, 8. 

that the burden of my own sorrow may be lightened. 
Welcome him home, then, for the love of our Lord, with 
all joy. Hold men like him in honour, because it was 
through labouring for Messiah that he was brought to 
death's door. Yes, he set his own life at stake in his 
single-handed efforts to supply all deficiencies in service 
to me which you were not here to render. 

III. For the rest, my brothers, rejoice still in the 
Lord. To keep on reminding you that you have a right 
to do so is not irksome to me : it may help to save you 
from being discouraged. And so, be on the watch 
against those unclean beasts ! against those mischief - 
workers ! against the mutilators I It is we who are the 
true Circumcised People, we who worship by the prompt- 
ings of God's Spirit, who make our boast in Messiah 
Jesus alone, and who put no trust in a sign scored on the 
flesh. Though, for that matter, I am just the man who 
(were it of any use) might well put trust even in such 
bodily externalities. If any man can claim a right to 
put trust in such things, I can, and pre-eminently so. I 
was circumcised when but eight days old : I am of the 
race of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin a Hebrew of 
purest descent. As to strict observance of the Mosaic 
Law I was actually a Pharisee : as to fanatical zeal 
for that Law it is enough to say that I used to persecute 
the Church. As to righteousness (so far as that can be 
attained by observance of the Law) I succeeded in 
becoming irreproachable. But all that, which once was, 
in my eyes, so much profit, I have come to consider, for 
Messiah's sake, as utter loss. Nay, I go further, I 
estimate all things as mere loss, in comparison with the 
transcendent preciousness of the knowledge of Messiah, 
of Jesus my Lord. For His sake have I let all that wealth 
of mine be confiscated : I count it but as refuse, so I may 

iii, g 19. Letter to the Philippians. 161 

but gain Messiah, may be found in union with Him, 
possessing no self-won righteousness such as is sup- 
posed to come through observance of the Mosaic Law 
but that alone which is won through faith in Messiah, 
the righteousness whose source is God, whose foundation 
is faith ; and that I may know Him, may know the power 
outflowing from His resurrection, may know what it is 
to share His sufferings, that I may be moulded into like- 
ness unto Him in the manner of His death, if so ah, if 
haply so ! I may attain to that resurrection from the 
dead ! Not that I have already grasped the prize, not 
that I am already perfected no ! but I am racing onward 
still, in the hope that I may close my hand upon that, for 
the winning of which Messiah's hand drew me forward, 
and set me in the race-course. No, my brothers, I deem 
not, I, that I have grasped it yet ; but one thing I can 
say this, that I forget all the course left behind, that I 
strain on, on, over that which stretches before me : with 
the goal in view am I racing on, onward to the prize to 
which God is calling us upward, the life in Messiah Jesus. 
Let us, then, who are full-grown believers, hold these 
convictions. If you are, in any non-essentials, inclined 
to diverse views, here too will God make all clear to you. 
Only, let there be no vacillation : whatever progress we 
have made, in the same path let us press onward. Join 
the company of those who follow my example, my 
brothers. You have me for your model : note those who 
tread the same path as I do. I say this, because there 
are many who pursue a course which I have often 
warned you against them ; I weep as I repeat the warn- 
ing now stamps them as enemies of Messiah's cross. 
Destruction is their goal ; their god is their belly : their 
pride is in their shame ; their thoughts grovel on the 
earth. We are not as they, for 

1 62 Letters of St. Paul. iii, 20 iv, 7. 

$?mmt of The state whereof we are citizens has its 
tlje Citterns being in the Heavens, 

of SUcaben. Whence also we watch to see our Deliverer 

Jesus, our Lord, the Messiah. 
He shall transform this body, 
The symbol of our present lowly state, 

Into the likeness of that body 
Which is the symbol of His glorious state. 
This shall He do by virtue of the power 
W T hereby He is able also to subject all things to Him. 

IV. Since this is so, my brothers, my dear ones, you 
whom I yearn to see, my joy, my wreath of victory ! 
in this spirit stand firm in union with our Lord, O dear 
ones mine ! 

Euodia, I beseech you, Syntyche, 1 beseech you, work 
harmoniously in our Lord's service. Yes, and I beg you 
also, my loyal yoke-fellow, 1 do you help them to do so. 
They have striven hard to help me in spreading the 
Glad-tidings they, and Clemens, and the rest of my 
fellow-toilers. W T ell, all their names are set down in 
God's Book of Life. 

Rejoice in the sense of the Lord's presence always. I 
will say it again rejoice ! Let unselfishness be known, 
as your distinguishing character, to all men. 

The Lord's Coming is now at hand ! 

Let no anxieties fret you : nay, in every matter let the 
things you would ask be made known by means of prayer 
by definite requests linked with thanksgiving, at 
God's throne. And so the peace that God gives, the 
peace that transcends all conception, shall be the fort- 

i. The Elder, to whose hands this letter was to be delivered, and 
who would read it to the assembled church. 

iv, 7 17. Letter to the Philippians. 163 

ress-warder of your hearts, of all your thoughts, in this 
your life in Messiah Jesus. 

Finally, brothers, what things soever are true, what 
things soever claim respect, are just, are pure, are win- 
some, are in fair repute all that is virtuous, all that wins 
praise be these alone the things whereof you take ac- 
count. Yes, these which you learnt, which you accept- 
ed, whereof you heard, which you saw acted out in my 
life continue to put these into practice. And God, He 
who gives peace, shall be with you. 

I rejoiced greatly (it made me feel the nearness of our 
Lord) to find that you have at last, like a garden of the 
Lord, bloomed anew in loving thought for me. You 
cared for me all along, I know ; but you had till now no 
opportunity of practically showing it. Do not think that 
I speak thus as having felt the pinch of want. No, I 
have learned, in whatever condition I am, to be inde- 
pendent of circumstances. I am schooled to bear the 
depths of poverty, I am schooled to bear abundance. 
In life as a whole, and in all its circumstances, I have 
mastered the secret of living how to be the same amidst 
repletion and starvation, amidst abundance and privation. 
I am equal to every lot, through the help of Him who 
gives me inward strength. But, for all that, nobly have 
you done in taking your share of the burden of my afflic- 
tion. I need not remind you, my Philippian friends, 
that, in the early days of my mission-work, when I first 
passed on from Macedonia, not a single church bore its 
share in balancing the account with me of giving and 
receiving, 1 except you you alone. So far back as when 
I was in Thessalonica, you sent contributions once and 
again to meet my necessities. Never think that it is the 

i. Of giving earthly goods in return for receiving spiritual bless- 
ings, as explained by St. Chrysostom. 

164 Letters of St. Paul. iv, 17 23. 

gift that I crave : what I do crave is the harvest of bless- 
ing which is accumulating to your account. Now I 
have all I need : I have more than enough. My mea- 
sure is full, now that I have received at Epaphroditus' 
hands what you have sent. It is no mere gift to me : it 
is sweet-smelling incense, it is an acceptable sacrifice, 
the smoke of which rises up well-pleasing to God. And 
God, my God, shall fill up the measure of zllyour need, 
with an abundance limited only by His own riches, shall 
supply it by His glorious presence in the person of 
Messiah Jesus. 

Now to God, our Father, be the glory through the 
ages of ages. Amen. 

Greet each believer who is in union with Messiah 

The brothers who are with me send you their saluta- 

All members of the Church here greet you, especially 
those who belong to the Emperor's household. 

The grace of the Lord Jesus, the Messiah, be with 
your spirit. Amen. 


ABOUT 62 A.D. 

The Persons addressed. Colossae (or Colassae), a town 
on the borders of Phrygia, near Laodicea, does not seem 
to have been ever visited by St. Paul. The church was 
apparently founded by Epaphras, a native, who visited 
Ephesus during the apostle's period of activity there. 

Why it was written. During Paul's imprisonment, 
Epaphras visited Rome, and from him the apostle heard 
of the intrusion of a new form of error into the church. 
It seems to have been the first presentment of what was 
in after generations developed into Gnosticism. Half 
Jewish and half oriental, its mystical character had a 
certain charm for these inhabitants of a country which 
had ever been the chosen home of mystic and magical 
cults. The new heresy affected both the faith and the 
practice of the church. It taught that God was inacces- 
sible, only to be approached through a long gradation of 
celestial intermediaries (of whom Jesus was but one), 
emanations from His Essence, and all combining to 
compose His Divine ' Plenitude.' Hence these celestial 
hierarchies must be adored ; and, as matter was pollut- 
ing, and the body a degradation, self-abasement and 
rigid asceticism must be practised as a necessary prelimi- 
nary to invoking the intercession of such pure beings. 
Various features of the ritual and restrictions of Judaism 

166 Letters of St. Paul. i, I 6. 

were introduced to equip these fancies with a working 
system of outward observances. The obligations of 
life's duties and of social relations were thrust into the 

As two friends, Tychicus of Ephesus and Onesimus 
of Colossae, were leaving Rome for the East, Paul 
entrusted to them a letter for this church, the main 
object of which is to establish the principle that in 
Messiah Jesus alone dwells the Plenitude of the God- 
head, that He is the only Mediator, the only Saviour, 
the Head of the Church, the Source of its life ; that 
whatever celestial beings exist are subjected to Him. 
Hence practices whether of ritual, of self-abasement, 
or of asceticism founded on false beliefs are to be 
scouted. Instead of these there must be love and 
mutual helpfulness, and the fulfilment of the duties of 
daily life. 


Paul appointed through God's will an apostle of 
Messiah Jesus and Timotheus the brother, 

to God's consecrated ones in Colossae, to the 
brothers who are still true to their union with Messiah : 

Grace be to you, and heart-peace, from God 
our Father. 

I give thanks always to God, the Father of our Lord 
Jesus the Messiah, in all my prayers for you. I have 
done so ever since I heard of your faith in Messiah 
Jesus, and of the love which you bear to all His conse- 
crated ones, a love evoked by the hope which is your 
treasure stored up in the heavens. That hope you heard 
of long ago in the proclamation of the truth embodied in 
the Glad-tidings. This has reached you, and abides 

i, 6 15. Letter to the Colossians. 167 

with you, as it does in all the world beside. Tree-like, 
it has been bearing fruit and growing higher everywhere, 
no less than among you, ever since the day when you 
first heard it, and recognised in its true aspect the 
gracious gift of God, as, in fact, you heard it from the 
lips of Epaphras, my dear fellow-bondman. He is, as 
my representative, a faithful steward of the gifts of 
Messiah. He it was also who told me of the love kindled 
in you by the Holy Spirit. 

For this reason I too, ever since the day I heard of 
you, have not ceased to pray for you. I ask God that 
you may have in full measure that perfect knowledge of 
His will which is an essential of all true wisdom, of all 
spiritual intelligence. I ask Him that you may pass 
through life in a manner worthy of our Lord, so as to 
please Him entirely. I ask that in every good work you 
may, as trees of His planting, still be bearing fruit, still 
growing higher, in the perfect knowledge of God. I ask 
Him that with all His strength you may be strengthened, 
even to the measure of the might of His divine majesty, 
till you attain to all-enduring patience and forbearance, 
which exults under suffering. I ask that you may ever 
render thanksgiving to the Father, who has made us fit 
to have a share in the inheritance of His consecrated 
ones who walk in light ; for 

He hath rescued us from the tyranny of 

And hath transferred us into the Kingdom of the 

Son of His love, 
of In whom we have our ransoming, 

The remission of our sins. 
And He is the image of God, the Unseen 

First-born before all created things is He. 

168 Letters of St. Paul. i, 16 23. 

For in Him were all things created 

Things in the heavens and on the earth ; 

The things visible, the things invisible, 
Be they Thrones, be they Lordships, be they Domina- 
tions, be they Powers 

Yea, all things through Him and for Him were 

created ; 

And before all is He, the I AM : 

And in Him are all things knit into one whole ; 

And He is the Head of the Body, the Church 
He who is the Beginning, the First-born from 

the Dead ; 
Who is so, that in all things He may take the 

chiefest place. 
For in Him was it God's pleasure that all His 

Plenitude should dwell ; 
And through Him was God pleased to reconcile 

to Himself the universe 
Yea, through Him the universe of earth, the 

universe of heaven 

When He sealed their peace by the blood shed 
on Jesus' cross. 

And you, who once were alienated from Him you, who 
once, alike in the bent of your mind, and in evil prac- 
tices, were God's foes ay, you has God now reconciled 
to Himself in the human body of Jesus, by means of His 
death, so that now He may set you in God's presence, 
holy, flawless, and irreproachable. This He will do, if 
you do but abide in the Faith, firm-founded and solid- 
built, never staggered from that hope born of the Glad- 
tidings which you heard, and which has been heralded 
forth in the hearing of every created being under heaven, 
the Glad-tidings of which I was made God's steward 
I, Paul! 

i, 24 ii, 5. Letter to the Colossians. 169 

Even now, in sufferings endured in your cause I am 
rejoicing. I feel I am brimming up the measure, unfilled 
hitherto, of Messiah's sufferings in my own flesh, on be- 
half of His Body, which is the church. Of God's 
bounty to that church was I made a steward, for the dis- 
pensing of His gifts. This stewardship was committed 
to me for your benefit, that I might give the fullest pub- 
licity to the Message of God that mystic secret of the 
Lord which, through long ages past, through generations 
gone, was unrevealed, but has now been made clear and 
plain to God's consecrated ones. Yes, to them was it 
God's will to make known what is the wealth of the 
glory of this mystic secret proclaimed among the Gen- 
tiles. That secret's essence is that ' Messiah is living 
within you,' which means for you the hope of the glorious 
vision of God. His Coming I now proclaim. I ad- 
monish every sinner, I instruct every hearer, with all the 
wisdom given me, so that I may set in God's presence 
every man, full-grown in the new life in Messiah. Ay, 
and for this am I toiling, I am wrestling hard, with all 
the soul-thrilling power with which God in His might is 
enkindling me. 

II. Do not think that I exaggerate: no, I wish you 
could realize in how stern a conflict I am now engaged 
in your cause, and in that of all the believers of Laodicea 
in a word, of all who have not looked upon my living 
face. I yearn that their hearts may be comforted. I 
want them to be all knit together in mutual love, that 
love which is the key to all the treasure of the perfect 
satisfying of our intellect, to the comprehension of 
God's mystic secret which is Messiah ; for in Him 
is all the hid treasure of divine wisdom and spiritual 
illumination. I say this expressly that no one may vic- 
timize you by plausible arguments. I cannot, indeed, be 
with you in bodily presence : none the less in spirit I am 

170 Letters of St Paul. ii, 5 15. 

ever with you. I rejoice over you : I mark how you 
stand shoulder to shoulder : I note the firm attitude of 
your faith, the faith that looks to Messiah. 

In the same spirit, then, in which you accepted the 
Messiah, Jesus the Lord, continue to walk in union with 
Him. Be like trees fast-rooted, like buildings steadily 
rising, feeling His presence about you, and ever (for to 
to this your education has led up) unshaken in your faith, 
and overflowing with thanksgiving. 

See to it that there be no one who succeeds in entrap- 
ping you by the lure of ' philosophy ' empty delusion, 
rather ! moulded on human tradition, moulded on the 
puerilities of externalism, and not moulded on the ex- 
ample of Messiah. For it is in Him that all the ' Pleni- 
tude of the Godhead' has its corporeal home. Nay 
more, by union with Him you too are filled with that 
Plenitude. No celestial intermediary can come between 
you, for He is the Head over every angelic Principality 
and Power. In His person, too, you have already re- 
ceived circumcision a circumcision this not performed 
by human hands. No, it consists in the stripping off of 
our sensual nature, which was done for us in the spiritual 
circumcision we received from Messiah. In the rite of 
baptism we were laid with Him in His grave ; in that 
rite too did we share His resurrection, through our faith 
in the soul-awakening power of God, who began by 
raising Jesus from the dead. And you too for dead you 
lay in the charnel-house of your transgressions and the 
impurity of your sensual nature you God thrilled with 
that same new life of Jesus. He freely forgave us all 
our transgressions : He cancelled the hand-graven Law 
that barred our access to Him, that confronted us with 
its decrees. He took it out of our path, and nailed it to 
the cross of Jesus. He stripped away from Himself all 
trammels of ' Principalities and Powers ' : He paraded 

ii, 15 iii, 3. Letter to the Colossians. 171 

them unsparingly, as He haled them in the Triumph of 
the Cross. 

Let no one, then, constitute himself a judge over you 
with respect to what you may eat or drink, or with re- 
gard to the observance of a festival, or a new moon, or 
of a Sabbath day. These things are but a shadow cast 
before by the realities that were to come ; their substance 
is found in Messiah. Let no one cheat you of your 
heavenly prize through his fancy for self-abasement and 
adoration of angels. Such an innovator dwells amid 
visions of his own : he is inflated (quite groundlessly) by 
an intellect which can grasp the material only. He does 
not grasp the principle of the one Head, from whom the 
whole body, furnished with nourishment, and knit to- 
gether by its joints and ligatures, is ever growing with 
the growth that God fosters. If, by your share in 
Messiah's death, you are severed from the rudimentary 
teachings of externalism, why, as though you still lived 
in an atmosphere of externalism, are you prepared to 
submit to ordinances, such as say, ' Handle not this ! 
taste not that ! touch not yonder thing ! ' (whereas the 
things thus prohibited were specially created for con- 
sumption in man's use) ordinances whose sole sanction 
is found in the commandments and precepts of mere 
men ? These restrictions do indeed involve an assump- 
tion of religious enlightenment, with their self-imposed 
ceremonialism, their self-abasement and asceticism ; but 
they have no real value even as checks to sensual self- 

III. If, then, you have shared in Messiah's resurrec- 
tion, aspire ever to the things on high, where Messiah is, 
throned at the right hand of God. Let your thoughts 
dwell on things above, not grovel on the earth. You 
have died to things of earth, and your real life now has 
been hidden, by its union with Messiah, in the being of 

172 Letters of St. Paul. iii, 4 16. 

God. When Messiah shall return in splendour, Messiah 
our Life, then you also shall with Him shine in the 
splendour of His glory. 

Crush, then, the life out of those animal impulses 
which crawl on the earth, impulses to fornication, to 
impurity, to lustfulness, to wicked longings, and to 
covetousness which is practically idolatry. It is on ac- 
count of such sins that God's wrath is ever descending 
on the sons of disobedience. Ay, and in their company 
you too once walked, when you lived in the commis- 
sion of these sins. Now, however, do you, like your 
fellow-believers, put them all from you. Put away 
anger, passion, malice : banish from your lips slander 
and foul language. Do not lie to each other, remember- 
ing that you have stripped yourselves of the outworn 
human nature, with all its habits, and have clothed 
yourselves with the new, which is ever rising through 
higher developments into perfect knowledge, is being 
moulded into the likeness of Him who created it. In 
this new life vanish all distinctions between Greek and 
Jew, the circumcised state and the uncircumcised, alien, 
savage, bondman, freeman. Messiah unites in Himself 
all, and in all He dwells. 

Array yourselves, then, as God's chosen ones, His 
consecrated and dearly loved ones, in a heart of sympa- 
thy, in kindness, in lowliness, in gentleness, in tireless 
patience. Be forbearing to each other, forgiving these 
your other selves, if it so hap that any one has a griev- 
ance against any one. Even as the Lord forgave you, 
so do you forgive too. And, over all these, with love 
enfold yourselves love, the all-clasping bond, the mark 
of perfectness. May the peace of Messiah set at rest all 
doubts in your hearts, the peace to which, as compris- 
ing one body, you were summoned ; and be ye all thank- 
fulness. May the word Messiah speaks to you have in 

iii, 16 iv, 4. Letter to the Colossians. 173 

your hearts, in all its wealth, its home. With all dis- 
cretion teach and admonish one another. With psalms, 
with hymns, with chants inspired by the Spirit, be your 
hearts singing ever in thankfulness to God. And every- 
thing whatever you do, in word or in act do every- 
thing in the name of our Lord Jesus, while still through 
Him you offer your thanksgiving to God the Father. 

Wives, be submissive to your husbands : by your life 
in the Lord this has become your duty. Husbands, 
be loving to your wives : do not say stinging things to 
them. Children, show obedience to your parents in 
every way ; for this is acceptable in our Lord's presence. 
Fathers, do not chafe your children by continual fault- 
finding, so that they may not be discouraged. 

Bondmen, show obedience in all ways to your earthly 
masters. Do it not merely when their eyes are on you, 
as those who court men's approval : render single-hearted 
obedience, because you fear the Lord. Whatever you 
do, perform it from the soul, as work done for the Lord, 
and not for men, since you know that from the Lord's 
hand you shall receive your recompense, the inheritance 
of His children. To the Lord Messiah are you bondmen. 
Do not you resent injustice ; for he who wrongs his fellow- 
man shall surely receive requital proportioned to the 
wrong he has done, and at God's bar there is no respect 
for social distinctions. 

IV. Masters, concede justice and fair treatment to 
your bondmen, bearing in mind that you too have a 
Master, in heaven. 

Let your prayers be characterized by intense earnest- 
ness no drowsy listlessness with thanksgiving. Keep 
on praying at the same time for me too, asking that God 
may throw wide the door for my mission to enter in, so 
that I may utter the Mystic Secret of Messiah, for 
which, too, I now lie in prison so that I may declare it 

174 Letters of St. Paul. iv, 4 16. 

plainly, as I am bound to utter it. Conduct yourselves 
with discretion in your relations with Gentiles not of the 
church : seize every opportunity, like merchants who buy 
up a scarce commodity. Let your talk be always clothed 
with grace, no vapid commonplace, that you may never 
be at a loss for the fitting answer to each questioner. 

All news of me will be given you by Tychicus, my 
most dear brother, my loyal helper, my fellow-bondman 
in our Lord's service. It is with this very object that I 
have sent him to you, that you may learn my condition, 
and that he may cheer your hearts. I send him in com- 
pany with Onesimus, my loyal and dearly-loved brother, 
a fellow-townsman, too, of yours. They will tell you of 
all that has happened here in Rome. 

Aristarchus, my fellow-prisoner, greets you ; as does 
Marcus, Barnabas' cousin, (you have received instruc- 
tions respecting him : if he comes to you, welcome him) ; 
and so does Joshua, surnamed Justus. They are circum- 
cised converts, and are the only ones of that class who 
are my fellow-toilers for the extension of the Kingdom 
of God : they have proved a comfort to me. Epaphras, 
your own townsman, greets you. He is a bondman of 
Messiah Jesus, and is always wrestling for you in his 
prayers, asking that you may stand firm, mature in 
spiritual growth, and clear in your convictions respecting 
God's will. I can bear testimony that he is all earnestness 
for you, for our friends in Laodicea, and for those in Hiera- 
polis. Luke, my dear friend the physician, greets you, as 
does Demas. Greet from me our brothers in Laodicea, 
also Nympha, and the believers who gather at her house. 
When this letter has been read before you, make 
arrangements for its being read also before the church 
of the Laodiceans, also for your reading that which will 
be forwarded from Laodicea. 1 

i. Probably it is the Epistle to the Ephesians that is referred to. 

iv, 17 18. Letter to the Colossians. 175 

Give this message to Archippus, ' See to it that you 
fully discharge the stewardship that you have received in 
the Lord's service.' 

This concluding salutation is in my own handwriting. 
Do not forget me in my prison. God's grace be with you. 




WITH the letter to the Colossian church was sent another, 
a private letter to a member of that church. Years 
before, Philemon, a gentleman of Colossae, a dear friend 
of Paul, had a slave, worthless as the Phrygian slaves 
proverbially were though, by a curious irony, he bore 
the name Onesimus, which means ' serviceable.' He 
had, it would seem, robbed his master, and then run 
away. He found his way at last to Rome, and there, 
under the influence of the apostle's teaching, became a 
Christian. Repentant, and ready to make all amends in 
his power, he undertook to return to his old master. 
But his gratitude, his loving service, had made him very 
dear to Paul ; and the apostle, remembering that his 
master could not be aware how changed a character 
returned to him, and knowing that by law he could 
inflict on him the extremest punishment (death by 
crucifixion was no unusual penalty for a heathen master 
to inflict for such offences), and desiring, moreover, for 
one who had grown to be like a son to himself, some- 
thing more than bare forgiveness, gave him this letter 
to deliver to Philemon. 


Paul from the prison in which he lies for Messiah 
Jesus' sake and Timotheus my brother, 

to Philemon, our dear friend and sharer in 

2 14- Letter to Philemon. 177 

our toil, and to Apphia our sister, and to Archippus our 
fellow-soldier, and to the believers that meet in your 

Grace be to you, and heart-peace, from God 
our Father, and from our Lord, Jesus the Messiah. 

I make mention always of you, Philemon, in my prayers 
to my God, and it is always with thanksgiving. For I 
am hearing ever of the love and the faith that you show 
a faith that looks up to our Lord Jesus, a love that 
flows out to all His consecrated ones and so I pray that 
this faith which you share with us may have its perfect 
work in your recognition of this, that all the good which 
is in us is for Messiah Jesus' service. 

Ah yes, great was the joy I felt, great the comfort, in 
the thought of your love ; for through you have the 
hearts of God's consecrated ones received restful comfort 
through you, Philemon, my brother ! 

And so, though in Messiah's name I might, without 
any misgiving, enjoin upon you a thing which it is but 
fitting that you. should do, yet by our love do I appeal 
to you instead, and plead with you. I plead, not with 
authority, but simply as Paul, an old, old man and now 
too I plead from a prison-cell, where I lie for Messiah 
Jesus' sake. I plead with you on behalf of my child, for 
him whose father I have, here in this prison, become my 
child Onesimus. Onesimus of little service was he to 
you in days gone by ; but now, both to you and to me 
may he do loyal service. I send him back to you ah, 
to me he is as a piece of my very heart ! And I gladly 
would I have kept him by my side, to render to me 
the service which you would render, if you could, here in 
the prison where I lie for God's Glad-tidings' sake. With- 
out your sanction, however, I shrank from even wishing 
to do any such thing : I cannot desire any kindness of 

178 Letters of St. Paul 14 25 

yours to seem wrung from you; it shall be wholly of 
your own free will. It may be, you know, that he was, 
just for a time, parted from you, in order that you might 
possess him unalienably, for ever after. But you will not 
look upon him as a slave any more will you ? but as 
something above a slave, a brother, a dear brother dear 
above all to me ! then how much more so to you, since 
he will be yours both in human relations and divine ? 

If, then, you regard me as a sharer in your life's work, 
receive him as you would me. Whatever wrong he has 
done you in the past, whatever debt is still unpaid, let it 
stand in your account against me ! I write this with my 
own hand / will repay it : Paul. 

I might say that it is you that are in my debt, that to 
me you owe all you are but no, I will not say it ! 

Ah, yes, brother mine, it is for myself I plead render 
me this one loving service, for the love of our Lord ! 
Give to my heart restful comfort, for the love of Mes- 
siah ! 

It is because I feel quite sure that you will yield to my 
appeal, that I have written thus. I know, oh, I know 
that you will do what I ask ay, and more. 

One thing beside : prepare to receive me as your 
guest ; for I am now in hopes of being restored to you 
it will be in answer to your prayers. 

Epaphras, who lies in prison with me in Messiah Jesus' 
keeping, greets you by me, as do Marcus, Aristarchus, 
Demas, and Luke, all sharers of my toil. 

May the grace of our Lord, of Jesus the Messiah, be 
with the spirits of you and yours. 


ABOUT 62 A.D. 

The Persons addressed. As in some of the best manu- 
scripts the title ' Letter to the Ephesians ' is not found, 
this is now generally regarded as a circular letter, copies 
of which were sent to various churches in Roman Asia. 
This view is borne out by the absence of personal salu- 
tations, an omission which might well seem strange after 
Paul had laboured there for three years, and had (Acts xx, 
17) taken most affectionate leave of the elders of this 
church before his final departure for Jerusalem. It may 
be that a separate slip of salutations was attached to 
each letter, according to its destination. 

Reason why it was written. This letter appears to 
have been called forth by no special errors or abuses ; 
but the perils threatening the cause at Colossae may well 
have haunted the apostle's mind, and he could not be 
sure that the mischief might not be spreading to neigh- 
bouring churches. Hence we find no specific allusions 
to heresies which the Ephesian church had not yet en- 
countered ; but we do find that the writer aims at estab- 
lishing the same great central truth, and guards the 
church by anticipation against the first approach of the 
new error. While there are many resemblances between 
the two letters, the main difference is that in the letter to 

i8o Letters of St. Paul. i, i 6. 

the Colossians the writer combats definite error, in that 
to the Ephesians he developes truths which he knows 
will render the intrusion of that error impossible. The 
point of view, moreover, is somewhat shifted ; in ' Colos- 
sians ' he dwells upon Jesus as the Head of the Body, 
the Church : in ' Ephesians ' he dwells upon the Church 
as being the Body of which Jesus is the Head. 


Paul, appointed through God's will, an apostle of 
Messiah Jesus, 

to His consecrated ones who are at Ephesus, and 
who are loyal to their life in Messiah Jesus 

May grace and heart-peace descend on you from God 
our Father, and from our Lord, Jesus the Messiah. 

All blessing be to God, to the Father of our Lord, of 
Jesus the Messiah, Who hath pronounced a blessing on 
us by our union with Messiah, the benediction of all 
blessings of His Spirit that are found in the high 

Yea, thus did He make choice of us, in choosing Him, 
ere the foundations of the world were laid : He chose us, 
that we should stand consecrate and spotless in His 
sight in love He chose us : 

??jmw of He claimed us for His own long ago, 
tfje #cfo To give us the charter of sonship to Himself, 
jBteprntfatum. Won through our Messiah, 

So fulfilling the good pleasure of His will, 
That praise might be rendered to the glorious manifesta- 
tion of His grace, 

The grace that He so freely gave us 
In the person of His Beloved. 

i, 7 16. Letter to the Ephesians. 181 

For in His person we have, through the shedding of 

His blood, 

The true Redemption, which is the forgiveness of 
our transgressions, 

Rich and free as God's grace is rich 
The grace which He made to overflow unto us 
In outpourings of manifold wisdom and discernment : 
For He revealed to us the mystic secret of His will, 
According to that His determination 
Which He had formed within Himself 
To carry out the dispensation that waited but the fulness 
of the time. 

For His purpose was to re-unite all things 

Under Messiah as their Head 
Things in the heavens, things on the earth 
All, all made one in Him. 

Yes, and it was solely by our union with Jesus that we 
Jews were taken for God's own inheritance ; for we were 
claimed long since as His, according to the purpose of 
Him who is the efficient Cause in all things, making them 
execute the devising of His will, that we might exist 
for the praise of His Majesty Divine, we, who, ere His 
appearing, hoped in our Messiah. In Him you Gentiles 
too, when you had heard the proclamation of the truth, 
the Glad-tidings of your salvation, in Him you too be- 
lieved : and on you was set His seal, even the Spirit that 
was promised, the Holy Spirit, the Spirit that is the 
earnest of all that we shall inherit, the Spirit given to 
ensure the full redemption of what God hath claimed for 
His own, for the praise of His Majesty Divine. 

For this reason I too, ever since I heard of the faith 
centred in the Lord Jesus, which lives among you, and 
of your love towards all believers, have never ceased 
giving thanks on your behalf. And still do I make men- 

182 Letters of St. Paul. i, 16 ii, 3. 

tion of you in my prayers, asking that the God of our 
Lord Jesus the Messiah, the Father glory-clad, may, in 
bestowing the full knowledge of Himself, bestow on you 
the Spirit which is manifested in divine illumination and 
insight into the mysteries of God, and may flood with 
light the eyes of your understanding. So shall you 
know what it really is, that hope which springs up in 
those who hearken His invitation : so shall you know 
what riches are comprised in the magnificence of the in- 
heritance which He gives you among His consecrated 
ones : so shall you know what is the transcendent great- 
ness of His power displayed toward us who believe a 
power measured by the impulse exerted by the might of 
the strength of God. This He put forth in the person 
of our Messiah, in raising Him from the dead, in 
throning Him at His own right hand in the high heavens, 
up above all the celestial hierarchy Dominions, Author- 
ities, Powers, and Lordships above every title of sove- 
reignty that is known by any name, not only in this 
present universe, but also in that which is yet to be. 
Thus He ' put all things, like subjects, beneath His feet.' 
And this Supreme One has He given, as its Head, to 
His church, which indeed is Messiah's Body, which is 
filled with the presence of Him who fills the universe, 
with all that is therein. 

II. Yea, to you also has God given life from the dead 
for dead you were, slain by your trespasses and sins, in 
an atmosphere of which you had once passed your lives, 
following the tendency of the present age, controlled by 
the Ruler of the Kingdom of the Lower Air, that demon - 
spirit which now is so active in the children of disobedi- 
ence. Ah, we too once, all of us, were of the number of 
these, ridden by the passions of our sensual nature, obey- 
ing the impulses of that nature and of its dark imagin- 
ings. Yes, we were then, by the conditions of our being, 

ii, 3 12. Letter to the Ephesians. 183 

heirs not of God, but of the wrath of God, as much 
so as the veriest heathen. But 

God, for that rich He is in mercy, 
of tf)e By reason of the mighty love wherewith He 
$ra loved us, 

at Even when in trespasses we lay dead, 

6ott. Thrilled us with the same new life wherewith 

He quickened our Messiah. 

By free grace alone have ye obtained salvation ! 
And with Him He raised us from the death- 


And with Him throned us in the high heavens, 
By virtue of our union with Messiah Jesus. 
This did He, to show forth, in the ages now imminent, 
The transcendent wealth of His free grace 
In loving kindness to us 
Who are united to Messiah Jesus : 

For by that same free grace have ye obtained salvation, 
On condition of faith alone, 
Salvation, not through your own striving 
From God it comes, His gift 

Not by fulfilment of the Law's commands (for He would 
have none boast) ; 

Nay, but His handiwork are we, 
Who in Messiah Jesus' person have been re-created 
That we may do good deeds a path which God has 
made ready for us, 

That our feet may walk therein. 

Therefore remember that you, who once were, by the 
evidence of your bodies, Gentiles, you who are still 
styled ' the Uncircumcision ' by that self-styled ' Circum- 
cision ' which is a mere mark on the flesh made by 
human hands remember that you were in those days 

184 Letters of St. Paul. ii, 12 20. 

excluded from all part in the Messiah, counted aliens 
from the nationality of Israel, foreigners without share 
in the covenants given by God's promise. You had no 
hope, you were without God in that heathen world of 
yours. But now, by your union with Messiah Jesus, 
you, who were once so far removed, have been drawn 
near by the blood of Messiah Jesus ; for 

He is our peace, 
of tlje He who made Jew and Gentile one people, 

rrat Yea, who broke down that party-wall of 
BrHmrtltartmt. severance, 

Who in His crucified body destroyed the 

cause of our enmity, 
To wit, the Law a thing of ordinances embodied in 


That He might re-create the two, in union with Himself, 
into one new man, 

So making peace, 
And might reconcile us both, Jews and Gentiles, 

In one corporate body, to God, 

By means of His Cross, slaying our enmity upon it. 
And, when He came, He proclaimed the Glad-tidings 

of peace 

Peace to you Gentiles, who once were far from God, 
Peace to the Jews, who were near Him ; 
For through Him have we, both we and you, united in 

one Spirit, 

Admission to the presence of the Father. 
So then foreigners no more nor outlanders are ye, 
But fellow-citizens are ye of His consecrated ones, 

And members of God's household. 
A temple are ye, built up on the foundation of His 
apostles and prophets, 

ii, 20 iii, 9. Letter to the Ephesians. 185 

Jesus the Messiah Himself being the chief corner- 

In whose person all the building is being knit to- 

And is taking more perfect shape as a sanctuary 

Consecrated by the presence of the Lord. 
So, by union with Him, you, as well as we, are being to- 
gether built up, 

To form a habitation wherein God will dwell 
By the presence of His Spirit. 

III. For this reason I, Paul, the servant of Messiah 
Jesus, who now lie in prison for having preached to you 
Gentiles you have surely heard of the stewardship of the 
grace of God which was entrusted to me that I might dis- 
pense it to you. You have heard that it was by direct 
revelation that the mystic secret of God's purpose was 
made known to me. This I have briefly indicated above 
in my letter : from it you can, as you read, infer my in- 
sight into the mystic secret of Messiah. This was in past 
ages not revealed to the sons of men in the fulness with 
which it has now been revealed by the Spirit to His 
consecrated apostles and prophets. Its purport is, that 
the Gentiles have now a share in the inheritance divine, 
that they, too, are members of Messiah's Body, that 
they too, through acceptance of the Glad-tidings, have 
part in the promise fulfilled in Messiah Jesus. Of these 
tidings I became a dispensing steward, in accordance 
with the gift of the free grace of God, bestowed on me 
so amply that only the heart-stirring impulse of God's 
might can be the measure of it. Ay, on me, the meanest 
more than the meanest of believers was bestowed 
this grace, that I should tell the Gentiles the Glad-tidings 
of the riches Messiah brings the treasure no human 
search could have found ; that I should uplift a light 

186 Letters of St. Paul. in, g 20. 

whereby all may see what it means, this stewardship of 
the mystic secret which has been from all time hidden 
away in the mind of God, who created all things. So 
was it done in order that now unto angelic Dominions and 
Authorities in the high heavens might be displayed, 
through the channel of the church, the many-sided wis- 
dom of God. This was in accordance with His purpose 
formed long ages since, which He executed in the person 
of Messiah Jesus our Lord, by our union with whom we 
have courage to speak to God, and access to His presence 
in the confidence which is born of faith in Jesus. Be- 
cause of all this, I beg of you not to lose heart when you 
hear of the afflictions that befall me in your cause. Let it 
rather be a proud thought that they are for you I 

For this reason I bow my knees to the Father, the 
great first cause of all who claim a father, alike in heaven 
and on earth. I pray that He may, with a fulness mea- 
sured only by the wealth of His own glory, vouchsafe to 
you to be made strong with power infused by His Spirit 
into your inmost nature. I pray that Messiah may, 
through your faith, make His home in your hearts ; that 
so, like trees, firm-rooted in love, like temples, having 
a firm foundation in love you may, in common with all 
His consecrated ones, be fully able to comprehend what 
is the breadth, the length, the depth, the height ay, 
really to know the love of Messiah (which transcends all 
illumination,') that you may be filled with all the pleni- 
tude of God. 

To Him who is able to accomplish all more 
Cfjant. than all things, 

Far transcending all our prayers, all our imaginings, 
To an extent whose measure is that mighty impulse 
which thrills us through, 

iii, 21 iv, 13. Letter to the Ephesians. 187 

To Him be all the glory in the church, in the Body of 

Messiah Jesus, 

Unto all the generations of the aeon that comprehends 
the ages ! Amen. 

IV. I appeal to you, then, from the prison in which I 
lie in the keeping of our Lord, to order your lives in a 
manner worthy of the summons to His service which 
you received from God. Be yours a life of utter lowli- 
ness, of gentleness, of mutual forbearance. Show to one 
another the patience of love. Be earnest to maintain 
the unity of which the Spirit is the author, linked to- 
gether by the chain of God's peace. Unity ! one Body, 
one Spirit, just as one was the hope that breathed in the 
Call that you heard. One Lord is ours, one faith, one 
baptism ; one God, Father of all, sovereign over all, per- 
vading all, and in all indwelling. 

Not indiscriminately, however, on each of us was 
bestowed the bounty of God's grace, but according to 
the measure of its bestowal by our Messiah. This is the 
significance of the words, ' HE WENT UP TO HEAVEN'S 

HE BESTOWED GIFTS ON MEN.' (Ps. 68, 18). Now, 

what can 'He went up' imply, except that He first 
came down to the lower regions of earth ? Yes, He who 
came down is even He who went up high above all the 
heavens, that His presence might pervade all things. 
And, for His gifts some He endowed as apostles, some 
as inspired preachers, some as heralds of the Glad- 
tidings, some as shepherds of His flock and as teachers. 
His intentions therein were to effect the perfecting of be- 
lievers, and to carry out the administration -work of His 
church, and the building up of Messiah's Body. And so 
shall His work speed till we all attain to unity in faith and 
in true knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfected hu- 

1 88 Letters of St. Paul. iv, 13 25. 

manity, to nothing less than the standard of Messiah's 
own perfection ; that so we may be children no longer, 
like ships wave-tost, and drifting before each gust of 
teaching, the prey of the fraudful cunning of men, and 
of their unscrupulous trickery drifting on to the maze of 
error's reefs ; but that our life may be all truth, enfolded 
by love, and that we may grow up in all respects into the 
likeness of Jesus, of Him who is our Head, our Messiah. 
From that Head is the whole Body knit into one har- 
monious frame, is a union of all its functions interlinked, 
according to the well-proportioned vitality of each in- 
dividual part, and so promotes its corporate growth 
towards one end its development in a life of love. 

This then I say I solemnly adjure you, as in God's pre- 
sence, to live no longer as (like your old selves) the Gen- 
tiles live, in the folly of their soul, with their intellect be- 
nighted, self-banished from the life God gives, through 
their deep-seated ignorance, and through the callousness 
of their hearts. In their moral apathy they have surrend- 
ered themselves a prey to licentiousness, to make a business 
of the practice of every kind of impurity with fierce 
eagerness. Far other is the lesson you have learnt from 
the knowledge of Messiah if, indeed, it was His voice 
that you hearkened, if in union with Him you were 
taught your lesson, truth as it is incarnate in Jesus ; if 
you learnt that you must discard the outworn type of 
humanity which characterized your former life, the 
humanity which is ever rushing ruinward as it follows 
the lusts that are born of delusion ; if you have learnt 
that you must pass through a process of renewal by the 
Spirit dwelling in your mind, and that you must clothe 
yourselves in the new humanity that has been created in 
God's image, in a state of righteousness and holiness born 
of the Truth. Therefore, since you have done with falsity, 

iv, 25 v, 3. Letter to the Ephesians. 189 

(Zech. 8, 16) ; for we are members mutually of one 

of tfjc ' In your anger let there be no sin ' ; 
ILifc Let not the sun go down while yet your 
on Cart!). wrath is hot, 

Nay, give the devil no such vantage- 


Let him who was wont to steal be no more a thief : 
Rather let him toil, doing honest work with his 

own hands, 
So that he may have enough to spare for the 


Let no speech that may pollute them pass your lips : 
Let there be only such as shall help your fellows' spiritual 

progress, according to their need, 
That it may impart a blessing to them that hear it ; 

So refrain ye from grieving the Holy Spirit of God, 
Which brooded over you when you were sealed His 


Ready for the day when He shall come to lead home 
His redeemed. 

Let all bitterness and passion, 
All wrath, and railing, and slandering, 
Be banished from you, and all malice withal. 

But learn to be kind to one another, 
Loving-hearted, ready to forgive each other, 
Even as God, in Messiah's person, forgave you. 

V. Make God your example, then, as His children 
dearly loved. Walk in ways of love, love like Messiah's 
love for us, which drew Him to yield Himself up for us, 
as an offering to God, a victim slain, to be wafted up in 
fragrance of grateful odour. 

But fornication, impurity, or grasping greed let their 

1 90 Letters of St. Paul. v, 3 18. 

very names be unknown among you, as beseems His 
consecrated ones. So also lubricity, ribaldry, or innuendo 
they are discreditable. Rather let your language be 
all thanksgiving. You know all this, aware as you are 
that every fornicator, every debauchee, every covetous 
man who is in effect an idolater is excluded from all 
inheritance in the Kingdom of Messiah and of God. 
Let no one delude you with sophistical excuses for such 
vices. It is in retribution for these very sins that God's 
wrath is ever descending upon the sons of disobedience. 
Do not then make yourselves their accomplices. Dark- 
ness incarnate you once were ; but now, by your life in 
our Lord, you are light ! Order your lives as men native- 
born to the Light. For the fruit of the Light appears in 
every form of goodness, righteousness, truth. So will you 
in your own experience prove what is acceptable to the 
Lord. Have no partnership with works of darkness, bar- 
ren of fruit as they are : nay, rather denounce them. The 
secret sins perpetrated by those sons of darkness are too 
infamous even to specify. But the vileness of them all is 
bared to view by the light, when they are so denounced : 
for everything that is exposed to the daylight becomes 
part of the realm of light. So your hymn says, 

Rouse thee, O slumbering one, 
And from the dead stand up, 
And Messiah shall be thy day-dawn ! 

See to it, then, that you walk purposefully not like 
witless creatures, but like wise men. Grasp at each op- 
portunity (like merchants who eagerly buy up a scarce 
commodity) : for ' the evil days ' are on us. Keeping 
this end in view, do not be unthinking Christians, but 
try to comprehend what is the Lord's will. As a special 
caution do not, in your church-gatherings, drink wine 
to intoxication ; that way debauchery lies : but quaff 

v, i8 33. Letter to the Ephesians. 191 

deep of God's Spirit. Speak out your thoughts to each 
other in psalms, in hymns, in chants inspired by the 
Holy Spirit. Let the sound of your singing, let the 
music of your hearts go up to the Lord in unceasing 
thanksgiving for all that He sends you, thanksgiving 
offered in the name of our Lord, of Jesus the Messiah, 
to God the Father. 

At the same time, in reverence for Messiah, yield sub- 
mission to each other. Wives, do you yield submission 
to your lawful husbands ; do it as service to our Lord. 
For a husband is head of his wife, even as Messiah is 
Head of the church. He is her Saviour, and she is 
His Body. Well then, just as the church submits her- 
self to Messiah, so also should wives show submission 
in every way to their husbands. Husbands, love your 
wives, even as Messiah also loved the church, and gave 
Himself to death for her, in order that He might purify 
her by the laver of the Water of Baptism, might hallow 
her by the Word of God, and so might Himself set 
at His own side the church, His glorious bride, bear- 
ing nor stain nor wrinkle, nor any such thing, but that 
she might be holy and flawless. Even so perfectly 
ought husbands too to love their own wives, as being 
in effect their own bodies. He who loves his own wife 
is thereby loving himself. No man ever hated his own 
person : he nourishes it, he cherishes it, just as Messiah, 
too, nourishes and cherishes the church. Well, we are 
members of His Body : so that there is a sense in which 
here too the words of Scripture apply : ' FOR THIS 


BECOME ONE FLESH ' (Gen. 2, 24). This is a mystic 
doctrine, of deep import I refer to the correspondence 
between the relation of Messiah to His church and that 
of man to wife. Be that as it may, let each man of you, 

192 Letters of St. Paul. v, 33 vi, u. 

without exception, love his wife as his own self, and let 
the wife remember to reverence her husband. 

VI. Children, obey your parents, as part of your duty 
to our Lord : this is their right. ' HONOUR THY FATHER 
AND THY MOTHER ' that is the first commandment that 
carries with it a promise ' THAT BLESSING MAY BEFALL 


EARTH.' (Ex. 20, 12; Deut. 5, 16). On the other hand, 
you fathers, do not you chafe your children's tempers ; 
but train them up with such discipline, such admonition, 
as is worthy of our Lord. 

Bondmen, still render obedience, single-hearted obedi- 
ence, coupled with inward and outward respect, to your 
earthly masters : do it as service to Messiah. Do it not 
merely when their eyes are on you as those who court 
but men's approval ; do it as bondmen of Messiah, who 
are performing the will of God with all their soul. 
Render your service with cheerful loyalty, as to our Lord, 
and not to men, bearing in mind that, whatever good 
work a man does, he shall receive full requital from our 
Lord, whether he be bondman or freeman. 

And you who are masters, act towards them in the 
same spirit. Refrain from the too-common practice of 
threatening : bear in mind that in heaven there is One 
who is your Master no less than theirs. There is no re- 
gard for social distinctions at His bar. 

For the rest 

of ti)K Be ye strengthened in the Lord's presence, 
l)ruttm And in the power of His might. 

ffi&larrtor. Array yourselves in the armour-panoply that 

God supplies, 
That you may be able to hold your post 

Against the Devil's stratagems. 

vi, 12 20. Letter to the Ephesians. 193 

For we have to close in grapple not with human flesh 
and blood alone, 

But with Principalities, with Powers, 
With the Lords of Darkness whose present sway is 

With the spirit-host of Wicked Beings that haunt the 

upper air. 

Therefore take up the God-given panoply, 
That you may be able in that grim day to face the foe 


To achieve all your duty, and to stand unstaggered 

Stand firm then 
Your loins girded with the belt of truth, 

Arrayed in the corslet of righteousness, 
Your feet shod with that preparedness to face the foe 

Which is a fruit of the Glad-tidings of peace. 
To cover them all, take up the shield of faith, 
Fenced by which you will be able to quench all the fire- 
darts of that Wicked One. 
The helmet also of salvation receive ye from His 


And the sword of the Spirit, 
Which is the Word of God. 

So stand, praying the while with prayer on prayer, 
with petition on petition, at every season, stirred by the 
Spirit : and, that you may do so, be vigilant ever, with 
uttermost earnestness, with all fulness of petition, for all 
your fellow-believers. Ay, and for me too pray, that to 
me there may be vouchsafed fit utterance, when I open 
my lips, fearlessly to make known the mystic secret of 
the Glad-tidings, on behalf of which I am an ambassador 
an ambassador in chains ! Pray that I may fearlessly 
proclaim its message, as I am in duty bound to utter it. 

194 Letters of St. Paul. vi, 21 24. 

In order that you, like your sister churches, may have 
news of my condition and my doings, Tychicus, my dear 
brother, my loyal helper in our Lord's work, will inform 
you fully. I have sent him to you with this very object, 
that you may know all about me, and that he may cheer 
your hearts. 

May peace, and love linked with their faith, descend 
on our brothers from God the Father, and from the 
Lord Jesus, the Messiah. 

God s grace abide with all them that with love imper- 
ishable love our Lord, Jesus the Messiah ! 


FOR the events of the life of St. Paul after the close of 
the narrative of the Acts, our only direct source of 
information is his own letters. It is the unanimous 
tradition of the church that he was tried at Rome, and 
acquitted, and that for some two years he was a free 
man. As to his movements during that time there is no 
certainty, and little agreement. He may possibly have 
carried out his intention, expressed in the letter to the 
Romans, of bearing on the Glad-tidings to Spain ; but 
there is no trace of such a journey to be found in the 
letters which follow. He probably fulfilled his promise 
of visiting Philemon at Colossae : he speaks of leaving 
Ephesus for Macedonia : he refers to going with Titus 
to Crete, and to leaving him there on his departure. It 
may well be that he went round to all the churches he 
could visit in the time. We find him asking Titus to 
join him at Nicopolis, a flourishing seaport in Epirus on 
the East Coast of the Adriatic. Here it was, perhaps, 
that he was re-arrested, and sent to Rome to stand a 
second trial, with far less chance of acquittal. During 
his absence the Great Fire of Rome had occurred. 
Nero, charged with having caused it for his own amuse- 
ment, was glad to shift the blame on to the shoulders of 
the Christians, whom (no doubt from their lack of 
sympathy with the heathen festivities which played so 

196 Letters of St. Paul. 

large a part in social life) popular prejudice had come to 
regard as ' the enemies of the human race.' 

The tolerance or favour with which the government 
may have been inclined at first to regard them had given 
place to ruthless hostility, and the ' ringleader of the sect ' 
had small chance of escape. 



Person addressed. Timotheus, son of a Greek father 
and a Jewish mother, was converted by Paul on his 
first missionary journey, at Lystra. On the second 
missionary journey, he became the apostle's companion, 
and thenceforth was his constant helper, loving, loved 
and utterly trusted. Young and shrinkingly modest as 
he was, Paul repeatedly sent him on important missions, 
as to encourage the Macedonian churches in the midst of 
persecution, and to represent the apostle's authority in 
the face of disaffection at Corinth, We find him com- 
forting and supporting Paul during his imprisonment at 
Rome. After the apostle's liberation they together visited 
Asia, and there Paul entrusted to him the superintendence 
of the church at Ephesus. 

It was to advise and strengthen him to bear the burden 
of the responsibilities and perplexities of this charge that 
Paul wrote (probably from Macedonia) the letter which 


Paul, appointed an apostle of Jesus the Messiah, by 
command of God our Saviour and of Messiah Jesus our 

to Timotheus my true-born son in the life 
of faith- 
Grace, mercy, peace be yours, given from God 
the Father and from Messiah Jesus our Lord. 

198 Letters of St. Paul. i, 3 13. 

I requested you, when I was starting for Macedonia, 
to remain in Ephesus : I now repeat the request. My 
object was, that you should oppose your authority to the 
attempts of certain men to set up opposition teaching, to 
give importance to legends and interminable genealogies, 1 
such as breed mere speculations instead of the attain- 
ment of God's blessings which are involved in the exer- 
cise of faith. On the contrary, the end and object of 
God's commandment is the kindling of love, such as 
springs from a pure heart, a good conscience, and un- 
feigned faith. But there are some who have missed all 
these, who have swerved aside from the true path into 
mere purposeless talk. They would fain set up for teach- 
ers of the Mosaic Law ; but really have no true concep- 
tion of the arguments they use, nor of the subjects on 
which they dogmatize so positively. I quite recognise 
that this Law is an excellent thing for a man who con- 
forms to its true principles. But he must recognise this, 
that the Law is enacted as a check, not on the righteous 
(as we have been made through faith in Jesus), but 
on the lawless and unruly, on the irreligious and sinful, 
on the unholy and the irreverent, on parricides and 
matricides, on murderers, fornicators, sodomites, slave- 
raiders, liars, perjurers, and whatever sin beside is op- 
posed to wholesome teaching. To recognise this is to 
grasp the spirit of the Glad-tidings of the glory of God 
ever-blessed, the proclamation of which was entrusted to 
me. Thankful am I to Him who filled me with strength, 
to Messiah Jesus our Lord, thankful that He did so trust 
me, that He appointed me to this stewardship me, who 
previously was a blasphemer, a persecutor, a brutal ruf- 
fian ! Yet was I compassionated by God, because I did 
what I did in the ignorance of my unbelief. Nay, the 

z. Of celestial powers, emanations from the divine, endless gra- 
dations of which were invented. See introduction to Colossians. 

i, 14 ii, i. First Letter to Timotheus. 199 

grace of our Lord was actually given me in overflowing 
measure, accompanied by faith and by the love which 
is centred in Messiah Jesus. Full of truth are those 
words they merit universal acceptance 

fitginmng of Messiah Jesus came into the world 
To save sinners. 

and a sinner was I, pre-eminently so. But it was for 
this end that I was so compassionated, that in me, me 
above all, Messiah might display the full measure of His 
forbearance, thus furnishing an example to encourage all 
who were hereafter to rest their faith on Him, for the 
winning of eternal life. 

To the King of all the ages, 
Cijant. The immortal, the invisible, the only God, 
Be honour and glory unto all ages of ages ! 

This charge do I commit in trust to you, Timotheus 
my son, in accordance with the prophecies that heralded 
your work, 1 that in the inspiration of them you serve in 
this glorious campaign, keeping fast your hold on faith 
and a good conscience. Some there are who have 
thrown the latter overboard, and so have in shipwreck 
lost the former. Hymenaeus and Alexander are in- 
stances in point, men whom I have solemnly handed 
over to Satan, that they may, in the school of suffering, 
be taught to cease to blaspheme. 

II. To resume I exhort in the first place that peti- 
tions, prayers, intercessions, thanksgivings, be offered 

i. The reference is probably to prophecies uttered when Timo- 
theus was consecrated to the work. Compare Ch. iv, 14, and 
Acts xiii, i, 2. 

2oo Letters of St. Paul. ii, i 15. 

regularly for all men, with special mention of kings, 
and, in fact, of all who are in authority, so that we may 
live an unharassed life of inward peace in all reverence 
for God and in self-respect. For such prayer is a right 
thing, and is acceptable in the presence of our Saviour 
God, whose will it is that all men be delivered from 
destruction and attain to full knowledge of truth. That 
truth is the Messiahship of Jesus : for, as there is but 
one God, so also there is but one Mediator between God 
and humanity, Messiah Jesus, Himself man. Now, it 
was for all men that He gave Himself a ransom. Such 
is the import of that testimony, promulgated in God's 
own good time. And for the proclamation of this I was 
appointed God's herald and apostle I speak literal 
truth ; I lie not ! His instructor of the Gentiles in the 
aspirations of faith, in the knowledge of the Truth. 

I recommend that in every gathering-place it be the 
men only who offer the public prayers to which I 
referred, lifting heavenward unsullied hands, nursing 
the while no secret grudge, harbouring no lurking 
scepticism. I recommend that women, for their part, 
array themselves in decorous attire, harmonizing with 
their modesty and self-control, not in braided tresses, in 
gold, in pearls, nor in costly raiment, but as becomes 
women professing the fear of God, by good deeds let 
them be adorned. Let a woman be in your gatherings 
a learner not a speaker in unvarying submission. To 
a woman I give no commission to be a teacher, nor to 
lord it over man : she must abide in silence. The dis- 
tinction dates from the origin of our race : Adam was 
the first created, then Eve. Moreover, it was not Adam 
that was actually deceived by the tempter, but it was 
entirely through her being utterly deceived that woman 
has become involved in transgression. Yet through her 
motherhood shall woman be saved, if your women 

ii, 15 iii, 13. First Letter to Timotheus. 201 

swerve not from faith and love and self-consecration, 
coupled with virtuous self-control. 

III. Most true are the words of your ordination- 

If a man yearns for the overseership in the church, 
He aspires to do noble work. 

The church-overseer, then, ought to be of irreproachable 
character, and be husband of but one wife. He must be 
a man of sobriety, of self-restraint, of well-ordered life ; 
must be hospitable, and have a gift for teaching. He 
must not be excitable and violent over wine. He must 
be courteous, uncontentious, not avaricious. He must 
rule his own household decorously, keeping his children 
in submission, with perfect dignity. If a man, in fact, 
does not know how to rule his own family, how can he 
be expected to take charge of the church of God ? He 
should not be a new convert, lest he grow besotted with 
pride, and so fall under that judgment passed of old upon 
the devil. He ought also to bear an exemplary charac- 
ter among non-Christians, lest his reputation be blasted, 
and so he be trapped in the devil's snare. 

Church-stewards, in like manner, ought to be dignified, 
not shifty, not over-addicted to wine, above getting money 
by questionable means. With an unsullied conscience 
must they hold the mystic secret of the Faith. Let 
their character be first investigated : then, if no breath 
of accusation has touched them, let them exercise the 

The stewardesses, in like manner, should be dignified, 
not scandal-mongers, sober, thoroughly trustworthy. 
Let church-stewards be husbands of one wife only : let 
them decorously rule their children and their own house- 
holds. I urge these cautions, because men who have 
creditably discharged their stewardship attain a higher 

2O2 Letters of St. Paul. in, 13 iv, 4. 

platform in the Christian life, and become fearless cham- 
pions of the faith that is centred in Messiah Jesus. 

I write the foregoing directions, although I am hoping 
to visit you very soon : still, I may be delayed, so I 
write, in order that you may know what line of action 
you ought to take in the House of God, that is to say, 
in the Church of the Living God, which is the pillar and 
mainstay of the Truth. 

I have referred above to the ' mystic secret of our re- 
ligion.' Beyond dispute, grand is that mystic secret, as 
set forth in our confession- chant 

Cmtf*C|)ant In human form was Messiah revealed : 
(contd.) By spirit-power was he proved the Just One : 

To angels He appeared : 
Among Gentiles was He proclaimed : 
In the world was He by faith accepted : 
In glory was He received up into heaven. 

IV. Yet, do not expect to find unanimity even in these 
great essentials. The Spirit expressly warns us that 

In the latter times some will revolt from the Faith : 
They will give heed to deluding spirits and to doctrines 

Trapped by the hypocrisy of liars whose consciences are 


3&jjmK of Who would fain prohibit marriage, 

Cljrtettan Who bid you abstain from food 

Created by God, to be partaken of with thanks- 

By all who believe and who have recognised 
the truth. 

For each thing created by God is good ; 

And nothing is to be refused, 

So it be received with thanksgiving : 

iv, 5 15. First Letter to Timotheus. 203 

For through the Word of God and through the prayer 
for His blessing 

It is hallowed. 

If you impress these things on the members of the 
church, you will be a worthy steward of Messiah Jesus, 
nurtured as you are in the words of the Faith and of the 
exalted teaching which you have followed. But with 
irreverent legends mere grandams' tales have nothing 
to do. Train yourself for the race of godliness : 

Jfrom a Of small advantage is the discipline which 
^pmn stops at the body : 

0f tfjc But godliness is of advantage for all things, 

Since it includes a promise for the present 

And for that which is yet to be. 

Full of truth are these words : they might well be 
adopted in all the churches, with what follows : 

To this end we toil, we strain in athlete-strife, 
Because we have set our hope on the Living God, 

Who is the Saviour of all men, 

Of believers most of all. 

On such lines charge and teach the church. Let no 
one treat you slightingly because you are young. Make 
yourself an example to the believers, in your speech, in 
your conduct, in love, in faith, in purity. Until I come, 
give constant attention to the public reading of the 
Scriptures, to personal appeals, to exposition. Do not 
cease to cultivate the divine gift that is in you, which 
was conferred on you, through the medium of an inspired 
revelation, at the time when the hands of the elders were 
laid on you. Practise the things I have mentioned : let 
them be the atmosphere of your life, in order that your 

204 Letters of St. Paul. iv, 15 v, n. 

spiritual growth may be evident to all. Give watchful 
heed to your own character, as well as to your teaching. 
Be unremitting in attention to the duties above-mention- 
ed. On your doing this, depends the salvation both of 
yourself and your hearers. 

V. Never reprimand an aged believer ; but plead 
with him as with a father. Treat the younger men as 
your brothers, the elder women as mothers, the younger 
as sisters, with utter purity. 

As to widows : give the honour of a place on the 
maintenance-list to those who are in reality utterly 
bereaved. But if any widow have children or grand- 
children, let them be reminded that their first duty is to 
display filial piety, and to repay their parents for all 
their care ; for this is acceptable in God's sight. She, 
however, who is absolutely bereaved I mean, who is 
left alone in the world has set her hopes upon God 
alone : she perseveres in supplications and prayers 
night and day. But the existence of the woman who 
lives in wasteful luxury is a living death. Thus charge 
them, that they may be irreproachable. If, in fact, a 
man neglects to provide for his own relatives, especially 
those of his own family, he has practically renounced the 
faith : he is worse than the heathen who have never 
embraced it. 

A widow, to be placed on the official list, must be not 
less than sixty years old. She should have been the wife 
of one husband : she should bear a high character for 
works of benevolence. She must be certified as having 
reared children ; as having hospitably received our mis- 
sionaries, and washed their travel-stained feet ; as having 
relieved the afflicted ; as having made the performance 
of every good work her aim. But to younger widows 
you must refuse official recognition ; for they are apt 
to grow restive under the restraints of Messiah's 

v, n 22. First Letter to Timotheus. 205 

yoke, and then we find that they want to re-marry. 
Thus they bear the condemnation of having broken 
their first pledge. 1 Besides, these learn idle habits, 
as they go round on their house-to-house visits : 
and not only do they grow idle, but become gossip- 
mongers as well, and meddlers, who carry discreditable 
tales. I recommend, therefore, that the younger widows 
should re-marry, bear children, rule the house, and give 
no occasion for reviling to the opponents of the Faith. 
The warning is not unneeded : some of them have al- 
ready turned aside out of the true path to follow Satan. 
If any female member of the church have widow-rela- 
tives dependent on her, let her relieve them, and let not 
the church be burdened with their maintenance, that it 
may relieve the widows who are really destitute. 

Elders who discharge their functions well should be 
held doubly worthy of the honour of a place on the 
maintenance-list, especially those who work hard in 
preaching and teaching. Here the words of Scripture 
are applicable, ' THOU SHALT NOT MUZZLE THE ox AS HE 
TREADETH OUT THE GRAIN.' (Deut. 25, 4) \ and, as our 

Take no notice of an accusation brought against an 
elder, unless it be substantiated by two or better, three 
witnesses. To habitual sinners administer a public 
rebuke, so as to strike terror into others. 

I solemnly adjure you, as in the presence of God, and 
of Messiah Jesus, and of God's chosen angels," to 
observe these injunctions unswayed by personal pre- 
judice, uninfluenced by partiality. Do not hastily lay 
hands of absolution* on any offender : do not thus 

1. Of absolute devotion to the duties of the position conferred 
on them when placed on the roll. 

2. Chosen especially as God's messengers to men, as Gabriel. 

3. Or, of ordination ; but, as Bishop Ellicott shows, this does not 
so well accord with what follows. 

206 Letters of St. Paul. v, 22 vi, 6. 

become a sharer in the sins of others, but keep yourself 
taintless (not, however, by gratuitous asceticism : on 
the contrary, do not continue to be a water-drinker ; use 
wine in moderation, to stimulate digestion, and to relieve 
your frequent ailments) : remember, though the sins of 
some men are glaring, seeming to usher them onward to 
God's judgment-bar, the sins of some may be hidden 
here, yet none the less they dog their steps ever. The 
converse, of course, is true also ; of men's good works, 
some are conspicuous, and those that are not so cannot 
for ever be kept secret. 

VI. All members of the church who, as bondmen, 
are under the yoke, must esteem their own masters 
worthy of the fullest respect, so that the name of God, 
and His teaching, may not be brought into disrepute. 
But those whose masters are, like themselves, members 
of the church, must not treat them with disrespectful 
familiarity, just because they are brethren ; but let them 
serve them all the more respectfully, for the very reason 
that these who claim their loyal service are believers, 
and dear to God. Thus teach and thus exhort. 

But if there be any one who sets up for an indepen- 
dent thinker and teacher, and refuses his adhesion to 
the wholesome message of our Lord, Jesus the Messiah, 
and the teaching which is based on the fear of God, I 
can only say that he is besotted with the pride of ignor- 
ance : he is but crazed about speculations and verbal 
polemics. Nothing comes from them but jealousy, 
quarrels, slanders, base suspicions, and embittered 
wranglings of men whose mind is a moral ruin, who are 
now judicially deprived of perception of truth, who 
imagine that religion is a means of getting wealth. So 
it is, indeed ; religion, allied to a contented spirit, is a 
source of great wealth : for 

vi, 7 15. First Letter to Timotheus. 207 

fctgmn of Nothing did we bring into the world, 

Contentment. To teach us to remember that we can carry 

nothing out : 

But, while we have food and clothing, 
With these will we content us. 
But they that crave to be rich 
Fall into temptation's snare, 1 
And into many witless and baneful desires 
"Which whelm men in pits of ruin and 

destruction : 
For love of money is a root whence 

spring all evils. 

Some have clutched thereat, have gone 
astray from the faith, 

And have impaled themselves on 
anguish manifold. 

But you, O man of God, shun these things : let the 
prizes for which you race be righteousness, the fear of 
God, faith, love, steadfast patience, meek-heartedness. 
Wrestle in the glorious struggle of the Faith, grasp the 
prize of life eternal, to the winning of which you were 
summoned, and confessed the glorious confession in the 
sight of many witnesses. I charge you, in the 
presence of God who keeps all things in life, in the 
presence of Messiah Jesus, who at Pontius Pilate's bar 
testified a glorious confession ! I charge you to keep 
the commandment flawless, irreproachable, until the Ap- 
pearing of our Lord, Jesus the Messiah, which in His 
own good time He shall display 

i . The metaphor of this and the lines which follow may be taken 
from the wild beast which, leaping at the bait hung over a pit, falls 
in, and is impaled on the stake below. 

208 Letters of St. Paul. vi, 15 21. 

That blessed and only Potentate, 
Cljant. King of all that reign, Lord of all who bear 


Who alone hath immortality, 
Who dwelleth in light unapproachable, 
W T hom none of men hath seen, nor can see, 
Unto Him be honour and might eternal ! 
Amen ! 

Charge those who are rich in the wealth of this present 
world not to be haughty, not to rest their hopes on the 
uncertain tenure of riches, but upon God who provides 
us with all things in abundance for our enjoyment. 
Charge them to do kind deeds, to be rich in good actions, 
to be generous, ready to share with others. So will they 
be laying up treasure for themselves, even a fair founda- 
tion for the future, so that they may grasp the prize of 
the life that is life indeed. 

Timotheus, guard your trust ! Shun always the irrev- 
erent babble, the dialectic tricks of what misnames itself 
'spiritual illumination,' which some men are ever par- 
ading, and so, in dealing with the faith, have shot wide of 
the mark of truth. 

God's grace be with you and yours. 



Person addressed. Titus is believed to have been con- 
verted by Paul on his visit to Cyprus, in his first mis- 
sionary journey. The question as to whether the apostle 
was prevailed upon, by the clamour of the Judaising 
party, at the time of the ' Council of Jerusalem ' (A.D. 50) 
to circumcise him, has been much debated. Paul's own 
language (Gal. ii, 3) appears (in the original) so involved, 
that directly opposite conclusions have been drawn from 
it ; but the generally received opinion is that the conces- 
sion was refused on principle. Titus seems to have been a 
man of strong and energetic character, and perhaps did 
much to save the situation during the difficulties at 
Corinth in 57 A.D. 

When and by whom the Gospel was carried to Crete 
we do not know ; but somewhere about 66 A.D. Paul and 
Titus visited the island, and did something towards con- 
solidating the work there, and laying good foundations 
for future progress. On his departure, Paul left Titus 
there as overseer of the Cretan church. Recognising 
that the character of the people, proverbially untrust- 
worthy, vicious, and sensual, was such as to render his 
task a difficult one, he wrote this letter, probably from 
Macedonia, to advise him on church-organization, and to 
strengthen his hands. 

2io Letters of St. Paul. i, i g. 


Paul, a bondman of God, and an apostle of Jesus the 
Messiah, appointed for the furtherance of the faith 
of God's chosen ones, and to secure that recognition 
of the truth on which true religion is based, and 
which is stayed upon the hope of life eternal, that 
life which God, who deceives not, promised before 
the epochs of the ages began ; though He waited till 
His own good time to make known His Message in 
that proclamation which was entrusted to me ac- 
cording to the commandment of our Saviour God 
to Titus, who is my true-born 
son, by profession of the faith we both share 

Grace descend on you, and peace, 
from God the Father, and from Messiah Jesus our 

The special object with which I left you in Crete was, 
that you might supplement the deficiencies of church- 
organization there, that you might, in particular, appoint 
in the various towns Elders, as I commissioned you. 
The conditions of eldership are, that a man be above re- 
proach, be husband of one wife, that his children be be- 
lievers whose character bears no slur of dissolute living 
or insubordination to authority. The above are essen- 
tials : for a church-overseer must be beyond reproach (as 
being God's steward) : he must not be opinionated nor 
irascible. He must not be excitable and violent over 
wine ; must be above getting money by disreputable 
means. He must, on the contrary, be hospitable to 
strangers, and be a lover of the good. He must practise 
self-control, be fair-minded, pure-hearted, and temperate. 
He must be a champion of the creed that is in faithful 
accordance with our teaching, so as to be able to stimu- 

i, 9 ii, 4. Letter to Titus. 211 

late others by wholesome instruction, and to refute 
opponents. This last is a necessary qualification ; be- 
cause there are among you a number of undisciplined 
praters, soul-deceivers particularly those of the reac- 
tionary party of Judaism ; and these must be silenced. 
They are unsettling the faith of whole families, by teach- 
ing, for the sake of disreputable gain, tenets which they 
have no right to teach. One of themselves, a seer of 
their own nation, said 

1 Cretans are liars aye, fell vipers, gluttonous sluggards ' ; i 

and this indictment is really true. Because it is true, 
reprimand your people in uncompromising terms, to 
bring them back to a healthy condition in the Faith, that 
they may cease to attach importance to Jewish fables, 
and to mere precepts of men who turn their backs on the 
truth. These tell you that such and such things are 
' unclean.' / tell you that to the clean-hearted all things 
are clean ; but to tainted and unbelieving men, such as 
they, nothing is clean. Their very mind and conscience, 
in fact, are tainted. They profess to know God ; but by 
their actions they renounce Him. They are utterly 
loathsome, disobedient to the faith, and proved by the 
test to be unfit for any good work whatever. 

II. But you do you continue to make your speeches 
harmonize with our healthy teaching. Urge the aged 
men to be sober, to be self-respecting, to practise self- 
control, to cultivate a healthy condition of faith, of love, 
of steadfast endurance. So also tell the aged women to 
take care that their demeanour reflects their inward 
holiness. They must not be scandal-mongers, not slaves 
to drinking habits. They should be teachers of virtue, 
qualified to school in self-control the young women, to 

i. This line occurs in the ' Oracles ' of Epimenides, and the first 
half of it in the ' Hymn to Zeus ' of Callimachus. 

212 > Letters of St. Paul. ii, 4 14. 

teach them to love their husbands and their children, to 
be discreet and chaste, to recognise that their sphere is 
home, to be amiable and submissive to their own hus- 
bands, so that no slander may assail the Word of God. 
On similar lines exhort the younger men to practise 

In all respects, furnish an example of good actions in 
your own person. In your teaching display purity of 
motive, dignity, vigorous, irrefutable argument, so that 
your opponent may be put to the blush when he finds no 
loophole for traducing you. 

Direct bondmen to be submissive to their own masters, 
to try to give them entire satisfaction. Warn them not 
to answer back, not to pilfer, but to display loyal fidelity 
throughout, so as to do credit in all their actions to the 
teaching received from God our Saviour ; for 

Cfje gmn Now has dawned the Day of the grace of 
of God, 

The grace that brings deliverance to all man- 

That brings for us the discipline of renunciation 

Of impiety and earthly passions, 
The discipline of living lives of self-control, 
Of fair-dealing and of piety, in this present world. 
So will we wait expectant of the realisation of our blest 

Expectant of the dawn-splendour of the glory of God 


And of our Saviour, Jesus the Messiah, 
Of Him who gave Himself for our sakes to death, 

So to ransom us from all iniquity, 
And to purify us for His own, His people specially 

Full of enthusiasm for good deeds. 

ii, 15 iii, 9. Letter to Titus. 213 

Let these things be your theme: exhort believers, 
confute opponents always with authority. Let no one 
imagine that he can slight you. 

III. Keep before the members of the church the 
duties of subordination to rulers and magistrates, of sub- 
mission to authority, of being ready for all good work, of 
slandering no one, of being uncontentious, unassuming, 
displaying perfect courtesy toward all men. We must 
not treat heathens as our inferiors: we ourselves were 
once senseless and disobedient ; we went astray in thral- 
dom to passions and pleasures of all kinds ; we passed 
our lives in malice and jealousy, detested by our fellow- 
men, hating one another. But 

?jpmn of When dawned on us the grace, the love for 

j^albatton humankind 

65 6rare. Of God our Saviour, 

Then not for works that in righteousness we 

But following the promptings of His own 

He saved us, through the baptismal laver of the New 


And through the renewal wrought by the Holy Spirit 
Which He poured forth on us plenteously, 
Through Jesus the Messiah, our Saviour, 
That we, made righteous by God's free grace, 
Might, by hope uplifted, become heirs of life eternal. 

Most true are those lines : and on these essentials I 
want you to insist, so that those who have believed in 
God may be careful to devote themselves to good actions. 
Such teaching is noble, is helpful to our fellow- men. But 
with all silly speculations, celestial genealogies, squab- 
blings, and wranglings on minutiae of Mosaic Law, have 
nothing to do. They are unhelpful, and, in fact, value- 

2ia. Letters of St. Paul Hi, 10 15. 

less. A sectary, after a first and second caution, exclude 
from the church. You know that such a man has utterly 
turned aside, and, though self-convicted, goes on sinning. 

When I send Artemas to you or, it may be, Tychicus 
try, do try to meet me at Nicopolis ; for there I have 
made up my mind to pass the winter. 

When you see off on their journey Zenas, the student 
of law, and Apollos, do your utmost to let them want for 

Let our people, like the members of other churches, 
learn to devote themselves to honest work, to the supply 
of the necessities of their teachers, so that they may not 
be living unfruitful lives. 

All friends here with me send greetings to you. 

Greet from me those who, as one with us in faith, love 

God's grace be with you all. 


68 A.D. 

PAUL was in prison again awaiting his trial. He was 
now subjected to more rigorous confinement, ' like a 
malefactor.' His case had already come on for a first 
hearing. On appearing before the court, over which it 
is possible that Nero was presiding in person, he found 
himself absolutely friendless. No one stood forth to act 
as his advocate, to advise him as to legal forms, to cross- 
question the witnesses, none to speak to his character. 
The last persecution had struck such terror into those 
who survived it, that no one whose presence could have 
been of use to him dared to appear for him. The evi- 
dence, however, was not deemed sufficient to condemn 
him without further inquiry, and he was remanded. 
His own language shows that he recognised (the votes 
of the judges may have been nearly equal) that he had 
had a very narrow escape ; and it is evident that he did 
not expect that he would be allowed a long respite from 
death. He was, indeed, martyred (by beheading, ac- 
cording to tradition) soon after this letter was written. 

Timotheus was now at Ephesus, bearing his heavy 
burden of responsibility ; his difficulties were increased 
by the activity of false teachers. Paul seems to have 
instinctively felt that his friend, in his grief, depression, 

216 Letters of St. Paul. i, I 7. 

and self-distrust, needed all the encouragement, all the 
advice that he could give him. He foresaw that 
Timotheus would henceforth have to stand alone. His 
one hope was to see him once more before he died. His 
asking for the cloak is a significant touch. He was in a 
fireless cell ; and it can be bitterly cold in Rome in the 


Paul, an apostle of Messiah Jesus, so appointed 
through God's will an apostle to proclaim the promise 
of life, the life that is centred in Messiah Jesus 
to Timotheus, my dear, dear son 
Grace, mercy, and heart-peace descend on 
you from God the Father, and from Messiah Jesus our 

Thankful am I to God whom I serve with a stainless 
conscience, with devotion inherited from my forefathers 

to feel how unceasing is the remembrance that I keep 
of you in my prayers night and day. I long to see you 

I remember how you wept at our last parting that I 
may be filled with joy. For I am calling up memories 
of the unfeigned faith that dwells in you, which had its 
home first in the heart of your grandmother Lois, and 
of your mother Eunice, as it now has in yours ; of that 
I am confident. And for this very reason do I now 
remind you to kindle into a brighter flame the gracious 
gift of God, which, communicated through the laying-on 
of my hands, now abides in you. 

No spirit of craven fear 
of tfje #cto 3ltfe. Hath God bestowed on us, 
But of might and of love, 
And of self-control. 

i, 8 15. Second Letter to Timotheus. 217 

Never blush, then, for the witness you bear of our 
Lord ; nor blush for me, who for his sake lie in prison. 
But bear your share in my hardships for the Glad- 
tidings' sake, with a steadfastness worthy of the power 
God has put forth : 

He has delivered us ; 
0f tfje He has called us with a hallowing call ; 

<ract0u Not for any deserts of ours, 

Call. But in furtherance of His own purpose, 

And the grace which, in the person of 

Messiah Jesus, 
Was given us ere the eternal ages began, 

But has now been revealed 
Through the appearing of our Saviour, Jesus 

the Messiah, 

When He brought death to nothingness, 
And made a new day dawn, a day of life, 
Of life imperishable, 
Through the Glad-tidings 

For the proclaiming whereof I was appointed herald, 
apostle, and teacher. Ay, and even for that reason am 
I enduring these sufferings ; yet am I not ashamed. For 
I know in whom I have put my trust, and sure am I 
that He is strong to ward the treasure I have laid up in 
His keeping, to ward it even till that Great Day. 
Adhere to the broad lines of the wholesome teaching 
that you heard from me, in accordance with the faith 
and love that lean on Messiah Jesus. Guard your 
glorious trust by the help of the Holy Spirit who makes 
His home in us. 

I have reason to appeal to your loyalty : you know 
this, that all the brethren in Asia have turned their 
backs on me, Phygelus and Hermogenes among them. 
May the Lord vouchsafe mercy to the household of 

2i8 Letters of St. Paul. i, 16 ii, u. 

Onesiphorus ; for he often cheered my spirit. He was 
not ashamed to own a chained prisoner for his friend ! 
Nay more, when he came to Rome, he took special pains 
to seek me out, and he found me. May our Lord 
vouchsafe to him to find mercy from God in that Great 
Day ! And all the good offices he performed in Ephesus 
you know better than I can tell you. 

II. Do you then, my child, my own child, find soul- 
strengthening in the grace of which Messiah Jesus is the 
one source. The truths which, as many who were 
present can bear testimony, you heard from me, commit 
these to trustworthy men, such as shall be competent in 
their turn to teach others. Share the hardships of my 
campaign, like a gallant soldier of Messiah Jesus. No 
soldier, when on service, trammels himself with life's busi- 
ness engagements : his one aim is to give satisfaction to his 
superior officer. And though it be but an athletic contest 
in which a man takes part, no wreath of victory is set 
on his head, unless he conforms to the rules of the com- 
petition. Again, it is only the husbandman who toils 
hard that has the first claim to a share of the harvest. 
Do not miss the application of what I say : I am sure 
you will not, for the Lord will give you discernment in 
all matters. Keep ever before you Jesus the Messiah 
think of Him as Him who was raised from the dead ; 
think of Him as the prophetically indicated King of the 
seed of David as I proclaimed when I brought the 
Glad-tidings. Ay, and for publishing it I am now mal- 
treated, am actually in chains, like a malefactor but 
God's message is pent in no prison ! Because I know 
this, I bear up against all sufferings for the sake of 
God's chosen ones, in order that they too may win the 
salvation which is ours through our life in Messiah Jesus, 
and, with it, eternal glory. Full of truth are the words 
of your hymn : 

ii, II 19. Second Letter to Timotheus. 219 

of If we have shared His death, we shall share 
traUfast His life too : 

ePnOurancc. If we steadfastly bear up, we shall also share 

His kingdom : 
If we renounce Him, He too will renounce 


Though we be faithless, He remains faithful : 
He cannot renounce Himself. 

Keep reminding your people of these things. Solemnly 
charge them, as in the presence of the Lord, to hold 
aloof from verbal polemics : they serve no good purpose, 
and only unsettle those who listen to them. Be in 
earnest to set yourself in God's presence tested by trial, 
a labourer who needs not to blush for his work, but 
who drives the ploughshare of truth in a straight furrow. 
But from the irreverent, empty talk of the false teachers 
do you stand aloof. They will go to more and more 
daring lengths in impiety : their teaching, like a deadly 
gangrene, will eat deeper and deeper. Hymenaeus and 
Philetus are cases in point, men who, in dealing with 
the truth, have shot wide of the mark. They assert 
that all the resurrection there is to be has already taken 
place. There are believers whose faith they are actually 
subverting now. Yet still the Church's steadfast founda- 
tion laid by God stands unshaken : these are the words 
graven on the corner-stone that seals her for His, 

and again, 



22O Letters of St. Paul. ii, 20 iii, 6. 

Still, holy as the church fundamentally is, she is like 
a great mansion in which there are vessels not only of 
gold and silver, but also of wood and earthenware, 
some for noble, others for ignoble use. If, then, a 
man cleanse himself from these pollutions of false 
teaching, he will be a vessel for noble use, hallowed, 
well-fitted for the service of his Master, ready pre- 
pared for all good work. For yourself, flee from the 
passions which are the besetment of youth ; but pur- 
sue after righteousness, faith, love, and peace, in com- 
pany with all who from a pure heart call upon the 
Lord. With foolish and superficial speculations have 
nothing to do, since you know they do but beget conten- 
tions. Now a bondman of the Lord ought not to be 
contentious, but to be courteous to all, ready to teach, 
forbearing. He ought gently to instruct those who 
oppose him, in the hope that God may some day grant 
them a better frame of mind, which may lead to recog- 
nition of the truth, and that so from their drunken 
slumber amid the toils of the devil, where, trapped by 
him, they have lain, they may start up, to do the will of 

III. But (in spite of all that you can do) of this be 
sure, that, in the days immediately preceding the Ap- 
pearing of the Lord, there will come upon the world 
terrible times. The mass of men will be selfish, avari- 
cious, braggarts, arrogant, slanderous, disobedient to 
parents, ingrates, impious, without natural affection, 
implacable, calumniators, unreined in passion, savage, 
haters of the good, traitorous, reckless, besotted with 
pride, lovers of pleasure instead of being lovers of God. 
They will wear the mask of religion, while they have de- 
nied it all influence on their character. Ah, turn away 
from these ! Of this class are those who are now worm- 
ing themselves into families, are haling after them a cap- 

iii, 6 iv, i. Second Letter to Timothens. 221 

tive train of frivolous women, conscience-burdened with 
their sins, adrift on the current of ever-varying morbid 
cravings creatures ever ready to imbibe new teachings, 
yet impotent to attain to any perception of the truth. 
Just as Jannes and Jambres 1 opposed Moses, so do these 
men also oppose the truth. Their minds are rotten to 
the core : in matters of the Faith the test has proved 
their worthlessness. However, they have reached the 
end of their tether : their insane wickedness shall be bared 
before all men, as was that of those impostors of old. 

But you you have been familiar with my teaching, 
my conduct, my life-purpose, my faith, my forbearance, 
my love, my steadfast endurance, my persecutions, my 
sufferings, sharp as those which befell me at Antioch, at 
Iconium, at Lystra: you have known what bitter perse- 
cutions I have endured and yet from them all the Lord 
rescued me. Ay, and all who are resolved to live a God- 
fearing life in union with Messiah Jesus, will be perse- 
cuted. But knaves and impostors will but make progress 
on the path to ruin, leading others astray, and going 
astray themselves. But you abide by the lessons you 
have learnt : hold to your convictions. You know from 
what teachers you learnt them first ; you know that from 
infancy you have been familiar with the Sacred Records, 
which can give you the wisdom which, vitalised by the 
faith that rests on Messiah Jesus, leads to salvation. 
Every written record inspired by God is also helpful for 
teaching truth, for refuting error, for restoration of the 
lapsed, for training in righteousness, so that the man of 
God may be thorough, may be perfectly equipped for all 
good work. 

IV. I solemnly charge you, as in the presence of 

i. Traditional names of the chief of Pharaoh's magicians, said 
to be sons of Balaam. 

222 Letters of St. Paul. iv, I 13. 

God, and of Messiah Jesus, who shall hereafter judge 
those who are alive at His Coming, and the dead ; I 
charge you by His Appearing, by His Kingdom pro- 
claim His Message ! Be ready for action, whether the 
opportunity seems favourable or unfavourable. Convict 
your hearers of their errors ; rebuke them, plead with 
them. With tireless patience adapt your teaching to 
every capacity. I thus caution you, because there will 
surely come a time when they will be restive under 
wholesome teaching. They will gather round them a 
rabble of teachers adapted to their own cravings, to that 
itch for novelty with which their ears are diseased. 
And so they will turn away their ears from the truth, 
and will turn aside to mere fables. But you in all 
things do you remain calm and sane ; endure suffering ; 
perform the work of a herald of the Glad-tidings : fully 
discharge your function as God's steward. 

As for me, I think my work is done. I am as wine 
just about to be spilt on the altar as a ship at point to 
put out to sea. I am a wrestler who has striven through 
a gallant struggle, a runner who has finished his race, a 
soldier who has kept his oath of loyal obedience. Hence- 
forth there is laid up in store for me the victor's wreath 
of righteousness, which the Lord will award me in the 
Great Day, the Lord the Righteous Judge and not to 
me alone, but to all who with yearning love have 
watched for His Appearing. 

Do try hard to come to me come soon ! I am very 
lonely ; for Demas has deserted me he clung to this 
present world and has departed for Thessalonica. 
Crescens has gone to Galatia ; Titus to Dalmatia. Luke 
is here with me none beside. Take Marcus as your 
travelling companion, and bring him with you. I have 
found his services very helpful. Tychicus I have had 
to send, as the bearer of this, to Ephesus. I left a 

iv, 13 22. Second Letter to Timothens. 223 

cloak at Troas, in Carpus' house : when you come, bring 
it with you ; my books also but, above all, the parch- 

Alexander the brass-founder displayed bitter hostility 
to me : the Lord will requite him as his deeds deserve. 
Do you also beware of him, for he was a fierce opponent 
of the Message I bore. 

When I was first brought up for trial, no one appear- 
ed as my advocate : all deserted me. May God not 
record it against them ! But the Lord stood at my side, 
and made my heart strong ; for He meant that through 
me His proclamation should be fully published, and that 
all the Gentiles should hear it. Ay, and I was rescued 
out of the very jaws of the lion. Still will my Lord 
deliver me from every evil agency, and will bring me 
safe into His Kingdom His Kingdom in the heavens. 
Unto Him be glory through the ages of ages, Amen ! 

Greet from me Prisca and Aquila, and the family of 
Onesiphorus. Erastus, when I left for Rome, stayed on 
at Corinth. Trophimus I had to leave at Miletus, as he 
was sick. 

Do try hard to come before winter ! 

Eubulus sends his greeting to you, as do Pudens, 
Linus, Claudia, and all the brethren. 

May the Lord be with your spirit ! 

God's grace be with you and yours. 


WHOEVER wrote the Epistle to the Hebrews, it is ascer- 
tain as anything can, by comparative criticism, be proved 
to be, that it was not written by St. Paul. Among the 
early Fathers there was great uncertainty as to its author- 
ship : Origen (186-254 A.D.) wrote ' God only knows who 
really was the writer of it.' It was not till four hundred 
years after its appearance that the practice arose in the 
Church of assigning it to St. Paul. The Biblical scholars 
of the Reformation as Erasmus, Melanchthon, Calvin, 
Luther refused to regard him as its author ; and modern 
criticism is almost unanimous in justifying, and in greatly 
strengthening, their objections. 

The Greek is not the Greek of St. Paul : it is far better 
the Greek of a man who had always moved in cultured 
Greek circles. The style is wholly different. ' The 
writer,' as Farrar puts it, 'cites differently from St. Paul ; 
he writes differently ; he argues differently ; he thinks 
differently; he declaims differently, he constructs and 
connects his sentences differently ; he builds up his para- 
graphs on a wholly different model.' Moreover, the 
personal attitude of the writer was one impossible for St. 
Paul. Heb. ii, 3, could not, as Luther long ago pointed 
out, have been written by the man who wrote Gal. i, i 
and 12 nor, indeed, by any apostle. Again, while St. 
Paul never omits to insist on the part of the Gentiles in 

The Letter to the Hebrews. 225 

Christ, even to the extent of having temporarily taken 
the place of the self-rejected Jews, this writer never so 
much as mentions them : it might seem as if he recog- 
nised, as if he had heard of, none but Hebrew Christ- 
ians. Once more, a reader who comes from the perusal 
of Galatians and Romans to Hebrews finds himself in a 
new atmosphere. He meets a new conception of the 
relation between the Old Covenant and the New, of the 
Jewish Law and ritual, of the person and office of Christ. 
of His redemptive work, of the meaning of Faith and of 
Righteousness. If we want to find the true germ of the 
Epistle, the text on which it is a sermon, we shall find it, 
not in the writings of St. Paul, but in the opening words 
of one of our Lord's last discourses ' Ought not Christ 
to have suffered these things, and to enter into his glory ? ' 
These three expressions, ' ought,' ' suffered,' ' enter into 
his glory,' are the key-notes of this Epistle ; and its 
method follows that described in the words that follow 
' Beginning at Moses and all the Prophets.' That great 
discourse of the Lord, that revelation of the inner signifi- 
cance of His sacrifice and its effects, must have been 
remembered and treasured by those who heard it. It 
must have been one of the most precious oral traditions 
of the primitive church. If there is preserved anywhere 
a record of it, is it not here ? 

The persons to whom this Epistle was in the first in- 
stance addressed were probably the Christian Jews in 
Palestine, perhaps in Jerusalem itself, upon whom strong 
pressure was constantly being put in order to make them 
renounce their faith, and return to the synagogue. The 
Epistle furnishes internal evidence that some had apos- 
tatized already, and that many were wavering. It was 
most likely written about the year 66 A.D., just before the 
outbreak of the war which ended in the destruction of 
Jerusalem. Of the author nothing can certainly be 

226 The Letter to the Hebrews. i, i 3. 

known. He must have been an eloquent man, mighty in 
the Scriptures, whose special gift lay in trenchantly con- 
futing Jewish opponents, and in showing by the Scrip- 
tures that Jesus was the Christ. Moreover, he may well 
have been an Alexandrian, for the Epistle is full of 
striking resemblances, both in language and in thought, 
to the writings of the great religious philosopher of 
Alexandria, Philo the Jew, who had shortly before written 
to prove that all that was best in Greek philosophy was 
derived from the Old Testament Scriptures. In view of 
these facts, the intuition of Luther first fixed upon Apollos 
as the author (see Acts xviii, 24-28) ; and, though other 
names as Luke, Barnabas, Silas have found advocates, 
it is to this view that our chief Biblical scholars incline 1 . 


I. By various partial revelations, under various forms 
of appeal, did God in past ages speak to our fathers in the 
persons of His prophets. But now, as the age in which 
we live draws to its close, He has spoken to us in the 
person of His Son. He has made Him the heir who 
takes for His inheritance the universe. Nay more, it 
was through His agency that God created all cosmic 
systems. He is to God as the rays are which reveal to 
us all we know of the sun : He is the Image that bodies 
out for us the essential being of God. It is He who bears 
on to its goal all God's universe through the Word which 
is the conducting medium of God's power. He achieved 
the cleansing of a world's sin, and then sat down on a 
throne at the right hand of the Majesty Divine, in the 

i. For a full and popular presentment of the case for Apollos' 
authorship, the reader may consult Farrar's ' Early Days of Christ- 
ianity,' vol. I, Book iii. The claims of Barnabas have been urged 
by Conybeare and Howson. 

i, 4 14. The Letter to the Hebrews. 227 

high heavens. He attained a rank as much superior to 
the angels as the name, ' THE SON OF GOD,' which He 
has inherited by right of birth, far transcended theirs, 
' The Messengers of God.' To which of the angels did 
BEGOTTEN THEE ? ' (Ps. 2, 7), and again, ' I WILL BE TO 
7, 14). Yea, and God makes proclamation, that, what 
time He shall again 1 bring His First-born Son into His 
TO HIM ' (Ps. 97, 7). Nay more, with reference to angels 


But in reference to the immutable Son He says, ' THE 
THINE HOME ' (Ps. 45, 6, 7). Again, ' IT WAS THOU WHO, 

SHALL NEVER RUN OUT.' (P5. 102, 25, 27). As of His 

immutability, so of His dignity : to which of the angels 
did God ever say, ' BE SEATED THOU AT MY RIGHT HAND, 

NEATH THY FEET ? (Ps. 110, 1 ). The angels ! what are 

i. At the Second Advent, as in II Thess. i, 7. 

228 The Letter to the Hebrews. i, 14 ii, g. 

they all but servants, spirits who render service to God, 
who are hour by hour being despatched on errands of min- 
istration for the help of us who are destined to have sal- 
vation as our heritage ? 

II. Since, then, ours is so high a destiny, we must we 
must pay fuller attention than ever to the truths that we 
have already heard, and never drift anchorless away from 
them. For if the Law, which was communicated to 
Moses by no higher agency than that of angels, yet 
proved uncompromisingly inviolable, if every sin of com- 
mission, every sin of omission received for its wage a re- 
quital, and that a just one, what plea for evasion of its 
penalties shall we find, if we disregard the one great de- 
liverance provided that salvation which was for the first 
time proclaimed by our Lord ? Those who heard it from 
His lips passed it on to us, and confirmed its reality by 
their own experience : God has added the sanction of 
His testimony by signs and marvels, by manifold mani- 
festations of His power, and by apportioning the gifts of 
His Holy Spirit to various believers, according to His 
own will. Yes, though the Law was communicated 
through angels, not so was the Gospel. For it is not to 
angels that God has subjected the New Humanity of the 
future, which is the theme of my argument. Witness 
was borne to this in that prophetic passage, ' WHAT is 



4, 6). Now the expression, 'Set all things beneath him' 
must mean that God exempted nothing from this destiny 
of subjection to him. But, as a matter of fact, we do not 
as yet see all things subjected to man. But we do see 

ii, g 17. The Letter to the Hebrews. 229 

the archetype of the New Humanity, Jesus Him who 
has been lowered to the level of humanity, and so made a 
little inferior to angels already, because of His suffering 
of the death-penalty of our sin, crowned with glory and 
honour. This has been done, that his tasting of death 
might, by God's grace to us, prove to have been for the 
sake of all humanity. For it was an act worthy of God, 
for whose ends all things exist, and by whose power are 
all upheld, to draw onward to the glory of His presence 
these myriads, all His sons, and so to make the Captain 
who leads their march salvation -ward perfect through 
those very sufferings that He endured for them. He 
could not be truly perfect without them : for He who is 
consecrating us, and we who are consecrated by Him, 
are all parts of one Body. And this is why He thinks not 
scorn to call men His brothers. He says, ' I WILL HERALD 


again, to show how sure He was that God would fulfil 
this His intention, ' I WILL BE FIXED IN TRUST IN HIM.' 
(Ps. 18, 2). Again, He is still referring to this His per- 
fecting when He says, ' HERE AM I I AND THE CHILD- 
Since, then, these human children of God are sharers in 
human flesh and blood, He too took a closely correspond- 
ing share in the same characteristics of humanity. He 
did this, that he might be able to die, and by His death 
might annihilate the power of him who sways the sceptre 
of death's terrors that is, the devil and so might 
transfer into a new existence those who through the 
haunting dread of death were all their lifetime bowed be- 
neath a yoke of veritable slavery. No indeed, it is not 
to angels that our Lord reaches a helping hand, but to 
' the seed of Abraham ' He does reach a helping hand. 
It follows that He was morally bound to assume a nature 

230 The Letter to the Hebrews, ii, 17 iii, 7. 

similar in all respects to that of His human brothers, in 
order that he might become a sympathetic High-priest, 
one in whom men can trust, in all their relations to God, 
so as to make atonement to God for the sins of us His 
people. Nay more, He can keep us from falling into sin : 
He in His humanity suffered through temptation, and so 
can succour humanity in its daily temptations. 

III. Therefore, brothers consecrated to God, you who 
have a part in the Call that came from Heaven, fix your 
attention on Him who is at once the Apostle and the 
High-priest of the faith that we acknowledge, even Jesus. 
He has been faithful to God who appointed Him as the 
inaugurator of the New Dispensation, just as Moses, the 
inaugurator of the old, was faithful in all his adminis- 
tration of the ancient church, which was then God's 
House. You are now to fix your attention on Him, be- 
cause He is a far more glorious figure than Moses. How 
so ? because the fashioner of a building is a higher order 
of being than the building itself. Again, every building 
must be fashioned by some one, but the great fashioner 
of all things is God. Now Moses, it is true, was faithful 
in all the administration of God's House ; but it was 
with the faithfulness of a servant, a mere locum tenens ; 
and herein he proves a witness to the truth of the pro- 
clamation of a New Dispensation. For now the real 
Master has come, Messiah ; and He is to rule God's 
House as God's Son. And it is we, the Christians, who 
are now His House that is, if we do not relinquish our 
fearlessly outspoken claim, our exultant claim, based as 
it is on the hope that inspires us, if we hold it fast un- 
waveringly on to the end. 

Therefore 1 do you who still waver between the Old 

i. From here to IV, 13, may be taken as a digression, an appeal 
to the Judaizing party. 

iii, 7 16. The Letter to the Hebrews. 231 

Covenant and the New, mark how the utterance of the 
Holy Spirit calls on you for instant decision : ' TO-DAY 


(Ps. 95, 7, 77). Look to it, O my brothers, look to it, 
lest there prove to be in any one of you not honest doubt, 
but a heart whose wickedness takes shape in unbelief, 
and betrays itself by conduct which is simply an act of 
revolt from Him who is a Living God ! Nay, but let 
not a day pass without pleading with one another, ere the 
opportunity, limited by that word ' To-day,' passes from 
you, lest, through self-delusion begotten of your sinful 
attitude, any of you be hardened into settled obduracy. 
Think what a glorious opportunity is presented to you. 
We, who have accepted it, have now become sharers in 
the personality of Messiah, and shall continue to be so, 
if we do but hold fast this new-born assurance, hold it 
unshaken to the end. While, then, He is saying, ' TO- 
DAY, IF YE SHALL HEAR His VOICE' do not continue to 
harden your hearts, as your fathers did in the day of the 
provocation of God. Do not dream that you are safe- 
guarded by your birthright as ' Sons of Abraham.' Why, 

i. It has been noted as significant that forty years also elapsed 
between the Crucifixion and the destruction of Jerusalem. 

232 The Letter to the Hebrews, iii, 16 iv, 6. 

who were they who, though they had heard His com- 
mand, yet provoked God ? Who, but all those sons of 
Abraham who, led by Moses, had marched out of Egypt ? 
And with whom was God indignant through those forty 
years ? Was it not with the same people, whose unfaith 
had passed into sin ? those whose dead limbs were left 
strewn in the wilderness ? And to whom did God swear 
that they should not enter into His haven of rest, if not 
to those whose sin had culminated in rebellion ? It must 
be plain to us that it was through their unfaith that they, 
so far from having the vested right of which you dream, 
were precluded from even entering in. 

IV. Let us then, instead of reposing on fancied priv- 
ileges, be filled with dread lest, though God's offer of en- 
tering into His Rest is still left open, any of you should 
even fall under suspicion of being laggards. For to us 
have the Glad-tidings of God been proclaimed, as truly 
as the glad tidings of deliverance from bondage were pro- 
claimed to Israel of old : are you going to repeat their 
error ? The word of God which they heard availed 
them nothing, because it was not by faith made part of 
the inward life of those who heard it. We who have be- 
lieved have not followed their example ; for we really are 
now treading the path that leads to that Rest of God to 
which He referred in those words, ' WHEN I SWORE IN MV 


REST." ' And yet that Rest was prepared, was waiting 
for them. The creative work of God had ended, and so 
His Rest had begun, with the foundation of the world ; 
for there is a passage in which the sacred writer speaks 
of the seventh day thus : ' AND GOD RESTED ON THE 


they forfeited their part in it, as is recorded in this second 
Since, then, an opportunity is still left open for some to 

iv, 6 15. The Letter to the Hebrews. 233 

enter into this Rest, whereas those who first heard God's 
glad-tidings were precluded by their rebellion from enter- 
ing in, we find that God limits His renewed offer to a 
certain day : ' TO-DAY ' (after that vast interval) mak- 
ing David His mouthpiece ' TO-DAY, IF YE SHALL HEAR His 


then, is this Rest of God ? It cannot mean the Promised 
Land. For, if Joshua's settlement of Israel there had ful- 
filled the ideal of Rest, God would not after that be found 
speaking of another ' day ' another opportunity of at- 
taining His unattained Rest. It follows that there yet 
remains to be attained by God's people a participation in 
God's Sabbath-rest. For whoever has entered into God's 
Rest, he too has attained rest from his labours, even as 
God rested from His own. Let us, then, earnestly strive 
to enter into that Rest of God, lest any of us should, 
through following the example of the disobedience of 
ancient Israel, miss this second opportunity. For God's 
word, on which I base my argument, is not a thing of the 
past nor something external to us : it is still living ; it is 
instinct with energy ; it is keener than any two-edged 
sword : that can but pierce flesh, but this finds its way 
to the dividing line between the animal life and the im- 
mortal spirit : it pierces the deepest recesses of our 
nature ; it analyses the very emotions and purposes of 
the inmost heart. Yes, there is no created being that can 
escape His notice ; but all things He bare and defenceless 
before the eyes of Him with whom we have to reckon. 

To resume my argument with my fellow-believers : 
since, as I said before, we have a great High-priest, who 
has already ascended through the skies, Jesus the son of 
God, let us cling to the faith that we profess. Our weak- 
nesses, our errors, need not discourage us ; for we have 
not such a High-priest as is incapable of sympathizing 
with our frailties, but one who has been assaulted by 

234 The Letter to the Hebrews. iv, 15 v, 7. 

temptations in all respects consonant with the likeness of 
His nature to ours, yet without falling into sin. Let us, 
then, approach God's throne of grace with a fearlessly- 
outspoken plea, that we may gain God's mercy, and find 
His grace bestowed for our help just when it can best 
avail us. 

V. This aspect of Jesus proves that we have advanced 
from the Old Dispensation to one differing from it not in 
essentials, but simply in perfection. For every earthly 
high -priest is, being from time to time selected from 
among his human brethren, appointed as men's repre- 
sentative generally, in their relations to God, and speci- 
fically, with a view to his offering gifts and sacrifices to 
atone for their sins. Such a man is able to make allow- 
ances for those who sin, through ignorance on the one 
hand, through mistaken motives on the other, since he 
too lives in an environment of personal frailty. Nay, 
more, on account of this personal frailty, it devolves upon 
him to offer sacrifice for sins, not only on behalf of the 
people, but also on his own behalf. Again, no one takes 
upon himself the dignity of priesthood : but only as 
summoned thereto by God does he assume it, as was the 
case with the first bearer of the office, Aaron. In like 
manner even the Messiah did not confer upon Himself 
the glory of being instituted a High-priest : that glory 
was conferred by Him who said to Him, ' MY SON ART 


So also in another passage we find God saying, ' THOU 


OF MELCHIZEDEK.' (Ps. 110, 4). And, to show that 
Jesus can sympathize with our frailty, need I remind you 
how He, in the days of His humanity, offered up peti- 
tions and imploring supplications to God, who was able 
to rescue Him out of the grasp of death offered them 
with agonized cries and tears ? And His prayers were 

v, 7 vi, 3. The Letter to the Hebrews. 235 

heard because of the reverential submission which He 
displayed. True, He was the Son of God, yet He had a 
lesson of obedience to learn, and He learnt it by the suf- 
ferings to which He submitted. So was He perfected, 
and so became for all who now render obedience to Him 
the fountain-head of eternal salvation even He who was 
named by God a High-priest after the order of Melchi- 

With respect to the correspondence between these two 
I have now to enter on a full discussion ; but, I warn you, 
it is difficult to put it lucidly to you, for your intelligence 
has, instead of being quickened, become dulled. You 
have been believers long enough to have qualified your- 
selves to be instructors ; but, on the contrary, you actual- 
ly need some one to instruct you in the mere rudiments of 
the revelations of God : you have, to use a figure, so de- 
generated as to need a milk-diet instead of the solid food 
which should be suitable for you. I use the term ' milk- 
diet ' as indicating the stage of inexperience in the doc- 
trines of righteousness, the stage of spiritual infancy. I 
use the term ' solid food ' as indicating the stage of 
spiritual maturity, of those who, through use of their 
opportunities, now have their perceptions trained to dis- 
tinguish for themselves between good and evil. 

VI. Therefore do let us get past the elementary stage 
of Christian doctrine, and press on to matured know- 
ledge. Let us not be for ever laying and re-laying the 
foundations, harping on the necessity for that change in 
life's purpose which leads us to the abandonment of the 
observances of the Mosaic Law, which have no life in 
them, on the necessity for the faith that looks up to God, 
on the necessity for baptism as a sign of the acceptance 
of our teaching, on the efficacy of the rite of laying-on 
of hands, on the certainty of the resurrection of the dead, 
and of judgment eternal. And to this advanced teaching 

236 The Letter to the Hebrews. vi, 3 12. 

I now mean to proceed, if God permit me. For it is a 
task beyond human powers 1 , when men have once had 
their souls flooded with the Light, when they have feast- 
ed on the bounty sent from Heaven, when they have be- 
come sharers in the gift of the Holy Spirit, when they 
have feasted on the glorious word of God, and have been 
thrilled with the supernatural powers of the New Life 
that is about to dawn, and yet have revolted from their 
allegiance it is a task beyond human powers to go on 
indefinitely rekindling in them the new life-purpose, so 
long as they go on re-crucifying, in His relation to them, 
the Son of God, and continue to bring public opprobrium 
on His Name. To take an analogy from nature ; the 
soil that has drunk in the rain which has again and again 
descended on it, and that bears produce adapted to the 
wants of those for whose sake it is tilled, is receiving its 
share of blessing from God. But if it persistently sends 
up crops of thorns and briers, it is pronounced worthless 
by man, and is near being cursed by God ; and the end 
of it is that it is marked out for burning. 

But, my dear friends, though I do use language of such 
stern warning, I feel sure that your condition is far better 
than this, that it is very near salvation. In spite of the 
shortcomings of your spiritual experience, God is not un- 
just, He will not forget your practical Christianity, the 
love which you have displayed for His name, nor how 
you have rendered service to His consecrated ones, and 
are rendering service still. But I do long for this, that 
each of you may display the same earnestness for the full 
attainment of all you have a right to hope for till you 
reach the goal, as you do display in practical religion. 
So you will not be spiritual dullards, but will follow the 

i. ' Jesus said, With men this is impossible; but with God all 
things are possible.' Matt. 19, 26. 

vi, 12 vii, 2. The Letter to the Hebrews. 237 

examples of those who, through their faith and tireless 
perseverance, are inheriting the blessings promised them. 
Take the first who received such a promise Abraham. 
When God gave him that promise, since there was no 
greater being by whom He could swear, He swore by 


(Gen. 22, 17). And so Abraham by his tireless per- 
severance won the fulfilment of that promise. I refer to 
God's oath, because our fellow-men are wont to swear by 
the name of some being greater than themselves ; and an 
oath as a confirmation of a promise is conclusive against 
all objections to accepting it. Under these circumstances, 
God, being determined to make more absolutely clear to 
the inheritors of that promise the immutability of His 
purpose, made His oath the mediator, as it were, between 
Himself and man. He did so, in order that through 
two unchangeable things His promise and His oath in 
which it was impossible for God to break faith, we might 
have all-prevailing encouragement we, who have fled 
for refuge to grasp the hope that lay full in our view. 
This hope we now possess : it is an anchor on which our 
soul rides safely : it cannot slip, it cannot break : yea, 
it penetrates into the Unseen which lies beyond the Veil, 
into which our Forerunner has already entered as our 
representative, Jesus He who has become for ever our 
High-priest a Priest after the order of Melchizedek. 

VII. Xow why do I insist on His resemblance to 
Melchizedek ? I will explain. This Melchizedek, King 
of Salem, was ' Priest of God Most High ' I mean, of 
course, him who went out to meet Abraham on his return 
from the slaughter of the kings, and who gave him his 
blessing, and to whom Abraham allotted a tenth part of 
all the spoil. Now, in the first place, note his very name : 
it means ' King of Righteousness.' Note his title : it is 

238 The Letter to the Hebrews. vii, 2 12. 

' King of Salem,' which means ' King of Peace.' Once 
more, how mysteriously he flashes on the scene : there is 
no mention of his father, none of his mother, no record 
of his line of descent, none of the date of his birth nor of 
the end of his life. He bears a startling resemblance to 
the Son of God ! this man who stands for ever in history 
as ' a Priest.' Again, consider the greatness of this 
mysterious personage. So great was he, that Abraham, 
the patriarch, gave him no less than a tenth part of the 
spoils of war. Now, those of the family of Levi, on 
being invested with the priesthood, can plead a positive 
command to tithe the nation, as the Law directs, that is, 
to tithe their own brethren, those who have sprung from 
the loins of Abraham no less than they. Here, however, 
is one who, though not drawing his descent from their 
tribe, yet took tithe of Abraham, and who gave his 
blessing to one who was, if ever man was, independent 
of it, since he already possessed God's promises. Now, 
beyond all dispute, of two persons, it is the inferior who 
receives the blessing of the superior. And here, the men 
who receive tithes are successively removed by death ; 
but there the receiver was one who is declared, on God's 
testimony, to be ' living.' And, in a manner of speaking, 
even Levi, who now receives the tithes, paid them 
through Abraham ; for he was still in the loins of his 
forefather Abraham when Melchizedek met the latter. 

Now, then if mature spiritual development were 
attainable through the Levitical priesthood (for this was 
the basis on which the nation received the Mosaic Law), 
what further necessity was there that a different priest 
should appear, ' after the order of Melchizedek,' and that 
he should not be named as ' after the order of Aaron ? ' 
The fact, as indicating the substitution of another line as 
holders of the priesthood, must inevitably imply the sub- 
stitution of another dispensation for the Law which was 

vii, 13 25. The Letter to the Hebrews. 239 

based on that priesthood. For the Personage of whom 
that declaration of God is made belongs to a quite differ- 
ent tribe, no member of which has ever officiated at the 
altar. For it is notorious that our Lord sprang from the 
tribe of Judah ; and there is no recorded expression of 
Moses connecting this tribe with the priestly office. 
Nay, there is yet more abundant evidence of a religious 
revolution, if it be a fact that a different Priest was to 
appear, a reproduction of Melchizedek, a Priest who holds 
His office not by virtue of a clause in an ordinance sub- 
ject to the limitations of flesh and blood, but by virtue of 
the power of a life not subject to dissolution. And it is 
a fact : for God's testimony declares, ' A PRIEST ART 


There is here, it is plain, an abrogation of the pre-exist- 
ing institution, because it had proved an instrument too 
weak to effect its purpose, unavailing for human needs 
for in no respect did the Law produce spiritual maturity ; 
and there is the inauguration of a sublimer hope, a 
channel through which we can now come close to God. 
And, in proportion to the higher authority of an appoint- 
ment confirmed by God's oath, (the appointment of 
priests, you know, has not the sanction of an oath, 
whereas His appointment was confirmed by the Oath of 
God, who said in reference to Him, ' THE LORD HATH 


in the same proportion is that a sublimer Covenant of 
which Jesus has become the guarantor. Again, there 
has been a long succession of individuals of the ancient 
priesthood, because each has been precluded by death 
from a perpetual tenure of the office. But because He 
abides alive for ever, none other can trespass on the 
priesthood which He holds. And for this reason He has 
power to continue saving, wholly and perfectly, those 

240 The Letter to the Hebrews. vii,25 viii,5. 

who, by His mediation, are through all time drawing 
near to God, because He is for ever living living to in- 
tercede for them ! 

Ah, it is just such a High-priest that was fitted to our 
needs, one holy, guileless, stainless of sin, uncontami- 
nated by sinners one, too, who has been upraised 
higher than the heavens, one who, though He intercedes 
daily, is not under the daily necessity, like human high- 
priests, who, interceding yearly, are under the yearly 
necessity, of first offering sacrifices to atone for his own 
sins, and after that for the sins of the nation : nay, this 
He did once for all, when He offered up Himself. He 
is exempted from such obligations both by the circum- 
stances of His appointment, and by His essential nature : 
the Mosaic Law appoints as high-priests mere human 
beings, men burdened with human frailty : He was ap- 
pointed by the Oath of God, spoken after the institution 
of the Law ; and He is Son of God, for ever perfected. 
VIII. The crowning conclusion of my argument is 
this : such a High-priest as I have described have we, 
even He who has taken His seat on the right hand of the 
throne of the Majesty Divine in the heavens. He there 
performs sacrificial functions for God's consecrated ones, 
the service of the true Tabernacle, which was set up by 
the Lord, and not by man. I say ' sacrificial functions,' 
inasmuch as the offering of gifts and sacrifices is the es- 
sential object for which every high-priest is appointed. 
It follows that, unless the title be a misnomer, this High- 
priest of ours should also have some offering to make. 
Now, supposing He were on earth, He would, so far from 
being a high-priest, not be, in the conventional sense of 
the term, a priest at all, since there is already a priestly 
order, consisting of men who offer the gifts required in 
accordance with the Mosaic Law. But these render 
service to that which is but a representation, a mere 

viii, 5 13. The Letter to the Hebrews. 241 

shadowing forth of the heavenly reality. This is proved 
by the divine directions given to Moses : ' SEE TO IT,' 
ON MOUNT SINAI.' (Ex. 25, 40.) Hence the priesthood 
of Jesus is not identical with these Levitical priesthoods ; 
but, as it is, He has obtained a transcendently higher 
function, sublimer in proportion to the superiority of the 
covenant of which He is the Mediator, a covenant whose 
enactment was based upon sublimer promises. Were 
not the New a better Covenant in other words, if the 
first covenant had been flawless there would be no at- 
tempt at the institution of a second. It was not flaw- 
less, for we find God blaming its inadequacy : ' BEHOLD, 



MORE.' (Jer. 31, 31-34). The use of the above expres- 

242 The Letter to the Hebrews, viii, 13 ix, 10. 

sion, ' A New Covenant,' implies that God has made 
the first obsolete. Now, an institution which is growing 
obsolete, which is becoming age-worn, is ripe for disap- 

IX. Now, as I said, the first covenant, provisional as 
it was, had its ordinances of ritual-service, and its Holy 
Place but this was entirely mundane. For a Tabernacle 
was constructed, in which that is, in the outer portion 
were the Lamp, and the Table (on which were laid out 
the loaves) : this portion is named the ' Holy Place.' 
And, after the second veil, was the pavilion named the 
' Holy of Holies.' To this belonged the golden Altar of 
Incense, and the Ark of the Covenant, plated all over 
with gold, in which lay the golden vase containing the 
manna, and the rod of Aaron which budded, and the 
slabs inscribed with the Covenant. Above this ark 
brooded the Cherubim of the Glorious Presence. They 
overshadowed the Mercy-seat but this is no time for 
going into details about these things. Well then, these 
preparations having been thus made, we find that into the 
outer pavilion the priests are continually entering, per- 
forming the ritual-services. But into the inner pavilion 
does the high-priest alone enter, and that on one day only 
in the whole year, and never without bearing with him 
blood, which he offers on behalf of himself and of the 
errors of the nation. By this restriction the Holy Spirit 
(which dictated it) indicates that the way into that Holiest 
Place is not yet thrown open, so long as the outer pavil- 
ion is a permanent institution. This outer pavilion is 
symbolical of the epoch connected with it, symbolizing 
the fact that the gifts and sacrifices which are offered are 
powerless to cleanse perfectly, in respect of his con- 
science, the worshipper. They are but accessories to 
regulations about lawful meats and drinks, and the mul- 
tiplicity of washings all of them ordinances dealing with 

ix, 10 18. The Letter to the Hebrews. 243 

externalities, imposed on religion till the time appointed 
for its complete reformation. 

That appointed time has come. Messiah has ap- 
peared, the High-priest of the blessed state that is yet 
to be realised. He has passed in through the sublimer, 
the more perfect Tabernacle, which was never made by 
human hands, which is not of this material creation. 
He has passed in, not by virtue of the blood of goats 
and calves, but of His own blood. He has passed, once 
for all, into the Holiest Shrine ; for He has achieved an 
expiation, not temporarily, but eternally efficacious. I 
am not overstating the case : for if the mere blood of 
bulls and of goats, if the ashes of a heifer employed in 
sprinkling men ceremonially unclean, can avail to hallow 
them so as to render them corporeally clean if these 
things can effect so much, how much more shall the 
blood of the Messiah, who through the Eternal Spirit 
offered Himself, an unblemished sacrifice, to God, avail 
to cleanse your very consciences, to deliver you from the 
obligation of performing works of the Law, out of which 
all the old life has gone, and to enable you to serve the 
Living God ? 

It is because it can thus avail that He is the Mediator 
between God and man who inaugurates the New Coven- 
ant. His death is the sacrifice that has been consum- 
mated, a sacrifice for the expiation of transgressions that 
were committed under the first covenant. And the pur- 
pose of His office is that those to whom the Call has 
come may receive the fulfilment of the promise of the 
heritage eternal. His death was necessary, because this 
Covenant, as conveying a heritage, is identical with a 
testament ; and where there is a testament, the death of 
the testator is necessarily contemplated ; for a testament 
can only come into force after a death does it ever take 
effect while yet the testator is alive ? For that reason, 

244 The Letter to the Hebrews. ix, 18 26. 

indeed, not even the first covenant, or testament, was in- 
augurated without the shedding of blood ; for, when every 
commandment had been rehearsed, according to the tenor 
of the Law, by Moses to all the people, he took the 
blood of the slain calves and goats, along with water and 
scarlet wool and a spray of hyssop, and sprinkled the 
book itself and all the people, with these words : ' This 
is the blood of the Covenant which God has ordained for 
me to deliver to you.' Moreover, he sprinkled the 
Tabernacle too, and all the vessels of temple-service in 
the same manner with that blood. Nay more, it might 
almost be said, it is in blood that everything has to be 
purified according to the Mosaic Law ; and apart from 
this shedding of blood forgiveness is not secured. 

It was, as I have shown, an indispensable condition 
that the blood of these sacrifices should be the means of 
purifying 1 things which were but earthly representations 
of the originals in the Heavens. These heavenly orig- 
inals, however, had to be purified 1 with sacrifices as 
much nobler, in comparison with these, as the heavenly 
temple is nobler than the earthly ; for it is into no Holy 
Place made with human hands, a mere copy of the true 
Holy Place, that Messiah has entered, but into Heaven 
itself, now to appear on our behalf before the Face of 
God. And, as to His sacrifice, He is not required again 
and again to offer up Himself. The parallel does not 
here hold between Him and the high-priest who enters 
into the Holy Place once a year with the blood of a 
vicarious victim ; if it did, Jesus would have had to 
suffer over and over again for each generation since the 
foundation of the world, when human sin originated. 
Nay, but now, at the consummation of the ages, has He 
once for all been manifested as the atonement that 

i. From the contamination of sins there presented for atonement. 

ix, 26 x, 8. The Letter to the Hebrews. 245 

annuls men's sin through the sacrifice of Himself. And 
even as for men this doom is in reserve, once and once 
only to die, and after this comes judgment ; even so 
Messiah, after being once and once only offered, to lift 
from the myriads of humanity their burden of sin, shall 
be seen the second time by those who are now watching 
for His appearing, be seen coming, disburdened of all that 
sin, to consummate their salvation. 

X. I referred to the Law as a ' representation ' of the 
blessed reality yet to be realised : but, in point of fact, 
it is but a shadow of it, and by no means an exact repre- 
sentation. The priests appointed under it can never, by 
means of the sacrifices they offer the same sacrifices 
repeated year after year perfectly cleanse for ever those 
who approach their altars. Were it otherwise, would 
these not have ceased to be offered ? certainly, by 
reason of the fact that the worshippers, when once for all 
purified, would have had no longer any guilty conscious- 
ness of their sins. So far from this being the case, we 
find that in those sacrifices is involved a yearly calling 
to remembrance of sins. Naturally so, for it is of course 
impossible that blood of bulls and of goats should take 
sins clean away. It is because of the supersession of 
these by the sacrifice of His own body, that the Messiah, 
when on the point of entering into the world, is found 



(Ps. 40, 6, 8). After saying at the outset, ' Sacrifices 
and offerings and hecatombs and victims slain for sin 
thou didst not desire, nor didst thou take pleasure in 
them ' the very things which, according to the Mosaic 

246 The Letter to the Hebrews. x, 8 22. 

Law, are regularly offered He then has gone on to say, 
' Behold, I am come to do thy will.' He here abolishes 
the former, as a means of expiating sin ; He institutes 
the latter. And in this accomplishment of God's will, 
by means of the offering of the body of Jesus the Mes- 
siah once for all, have we been consecrated to God. 

Once more : every human priest takes his stand by the 
altar for daily service, offering the same sacrifices over 
and over again sacrifices such as can never avail to strip 
away the sin that wraps us round. But He, after offer- 
ing for sin one sacrifice which shall for ever avail, sat 
down, His work accomplished, at the right hand of God, 
having thenceforth only to wait until His foes have been 
placed, like a footstool, beneath His feet. For by this 
one offering He has for ever perfectly cleansed those who, 
from age to age, become His consecrated ones. Yea, and 
the Holy Spirit witnesses to the truth of what I assert. 
For, after saying, ' THIS is THE COVENANT THAT I WILL 






Now that that time has come, now that there is absolute 
forgiveness of these sins, it follows that there must be an 
end of the offering of victims to atone for sin. 

Since, then, my brothers, we can confidently plead our 
claim for access, by right of Jesus' blood, into that 
Holiest Place access by the path which He has inaug- 
urated for us, a new path, a living path through the rent 
veil of His flesh ; and since we have a great Priest who 
rules God's household, let us draw near with a sincere 
heart, in fulness of faith, having our hearts sprinkled 
with the blood which cleanses all guilt from the con- 
science, and having our very bodies bathed in the pure 

x, 23 3 1 - The Letter to the Hebrews. 247 

water of baptism. So let us hold fast the confession of 
our hope, that it may waver not. Why should it waver ? 
true and faithful is He on whose promise we rely. Let 
us withal keep watch over each other, to stimulate each 
other to love and to noble deeds. Let us not abandon 
the practice of church-gatherings, as some have fallen 
into the habit of doing, but use them as a means of 
mutual encouragement. Be all the more earnest in doing 
this, the nearer you perceive the Day of the Lord to be. 
There is every need for such earnestness ; for, if we 
wilfully set ourselves to sin, after having received such 
full knowledge of the Truth, there remains for us no 
longer the resource of offering a sacrifice to expiate our 
sins. No, there remains a dreadful awaiting of God's 
judgment ; there remains God's jealousy embodied in fire 
that is destined to devour His adversaries. Any one who 
has set at nought the Law of Moses is put to death with- 
out pity on the testimony of two or three witnesses. Of 
how much sterner punishment, think you, shall he be 
held deserving who has trampled under foot the Son of 
God 1 , who has accounted the Blood of the Covenant, by 
which he was consecrated, an unhallowed thing, 2 who has 
heaped insult on the Spirit that imparts the bounty of 
God? 8 We know who says, ' MINE is VENGEANCE, I 
PEOPLE'S CAUSE.' (Dent. 32, 35, 36). An awful thing it 
is to fall into the hands of a Living God ! 

i, 2, 3. This indicates that the 'sin' above referred to was the 
apostasy of Jewish converts ; and it may be inferred from these ex- 
pressions (as, indeed, was antecedently probable) that Jewish apos- 
tates from Christianity to Judaism were, before being re-admitted to 
the synagogue, required i, to deny that Jesus was the Son of God ; 
2, to declare that His blood was rightly shed, as the blood of a 
malefactor ; 3, to ascribe (as the Pharisees had done) the gifts of the 
Spirit (healing, tongues, etc.) to the operation of demons. 

248 The Letter to the Hebrews, x, 32 xi, 4. 

Nay, but be ever calling to mind the days overpast, in 
which, when your souls had been flooded with the Light, 
you bore up under a hard struggle of suffering, when, on 
the one hand, you were set in a pillory of revilings and 
afflictions, when, on the other hand, you made yourselves 
sharers in the lot of those who lived such a life of pain. 
' Sharers,' I say ; for you sympathized with those chained 
prisoners ; and the pillaging of your own possessions you 
welcomed with joy ; for you recognised that you still 
possessed your own selves a better possession and a 
lasting one ! 

Do not, then, fling away your fearless trust, for it in- 
cludes a glorious repayment for all. Yes, you have need 
of steadfast endurance, so that you may perform the will 
of God, and so receive the fulfilment of His promise. 
For, ' YET A LITTLE WHILE a very little while ! AND HE 


NO PLEASURE IN HIM.' (Hab. 2, 3, 4). Nay, but our 
principle of action is not that shrinking back, which 
issues in destruction, but the faith which issues in the 
winning of life. 

XI. Faith is that attitude of mind which gives form 
and substance to things that are as yet but objects of 
hope, that which satisfies us of the reality of things as 
yet beyond our ken. It was through their exercise of this 
faith that the men of old had God's witness borne to 
their righteousness. It is through faith that we discern 
that the epochs of our earth's development were moulded 
by the fiat of God, that it was not His design that the 
world which we now look upon should be the outcome of 
a process of evolution from nothing but matter palpable 
to our senses. 

Through faith it was that Abel offered to God a more 

xi, 4 ii. The Letter to the Hebrews. 249 

perfect sacrifice than Cain : through which sacrifice he 
received the testimony of God that he was a righteous 
man, since God bore witness to the acceptability of his 
offerings ; and through it he, though dead, is a living 
voice still. 

Through faith it was that Enoch was caught away 
from earth to heaven : he vanished, because He who had 
caught him away was God. I say so, because, before he 
was caught away, he had this testimony borne to him, 
that he had satisfied God ; but without faith it is impos- 
sible to satisfy God. For the man who approaches God 
as a worshipper must necessarily believe that God exists, 
and that He proves Himself a repayer of those who 
earnestly seek Him. 

Through faith it was that Noah, on receiving a revela- 
tion from God of an event of which there was as yet no 
visible sign, took warning, and constructed an ark for 
the deliverance of his own family. By his faith he not 
only passed censure on the world's unbelief, but he also 
won the inheritance of the righteousness which is de- 
veloped in proportion to our faith. 

Through faith it was that Abraham obeyed God's 
summons to go out of his own land to the place which he 
was destined to receive as an inheritance. He went forth 
without knowing whither he was going. Through faith 
he transferred his home into the land indicated in God's 
promise, though for him it was still a land of aliens. It 
was but in an unsettled tent-life that he made his home 
there, as also did Isaac and Jacob, who were co-heirs 
with him of the same promise. For he was all the while 
waiting expectant for the city which has settled founda- 
tions, whose architect, whose builder, is God. Through 
faith did Sarah herself also receive bodily power for the 
conception of seed, even when past the age of maternity, 
simply because she felt that He who had given the 

250 The Letter to the Hebrews. xi, n 21. 

promise was true and faithful. And so from one man, a 
man whose vitality had decayed, there sprang descend- 
ants multitudinous as the stars of heaven, countless as 
the countless sands on the sea-beach. 

Sustained by the faith in which they had lived did all 
these die. They had not received the fulfilment of God's 
promises ; but they had descried it afar, and had hailed 
the vision. They had acknowledged that upon this 
earth they were but strangers in a strange land, sojourn- 
ers among aliens. I say so, because men who use such 
language as they did 1 thereby make it plain that they are 
still seeking a Home-land. Indeed, if, unsatisfied with 
that unsettled life, they had been home-sick for that 
country from which they were emigrants, it was still 
open to them to return to it. No, in point of fact, we 
find them still straining forward to a better, that is to 
say, a Heavenly Home-land. And this is why we find 
that God is not ashamed of them, is not ashamed to bear 
JACOB ; ' for it was for them that He had made ready a 

Through faith it was that Abraham, when he was put 
to the test, offered up Isaac yes, he who had welcomed 
God's promises was ready to offer up his only son, that 
son with respect to whom it had been said, ' IN THE LINE 


12}. For he reasoned that even from among the dead 
was God able to raise him up indeed he did, figuratively 
speaking, actually receive him back from the dead. 

Through faith it was that Isaac, looking far into the 
future, blessed Jacob and Esau. Through faith it was 

i. Abraham ' I am a stranger and a sojourner with you ' (Gen. 
32, 4). Jacob ' The days of the years of my pilgrimage. . . the 
life of my fathers in the days of their pilgrimage.' (Gen. 47, 9). 

xi, 21 33. The Letter to the Hebrews. 251 

that Jacob, on his deathbed, blessed each of the sons of 
Joseph, and bowed in worship over the head of his staff. 
Through faith it was that Joseph, as his end drew near, 
referred to the promise concerning the departure from 
Egypt of the children of Israel, and gave instructions 
respecting the disposal of his bones. 

Through faith it was that Moses, after his birth, was 
concealed for a space of three months by his parents, 
because they saw how comely was their child, and they 
were not overawed by the King's edict. Through faith 
it was that Moses, when he was grown to manhood; 
rejected the title of ' Son of Pharaoh's Daughter.' He 
had made his choice : he preferred to share the oppression 
of God's people, than to retain the short-lived enjoyment 
of a sinful life. Greater wealth than Egypt's treasures 
did he esteem the opprobrium which trust in Messiah 
entailed ; for still he looked away from these to the Hour 
of Repayment. Through faith it was that he left Egypt 
behind him, undismayed by the wrath of king Pharaoh ; 
for, as one who gazed on the Invisible God, he was un- 
flinching. Through faith it was that he instituted the 
Passover and the sprinkling of the blood which restrained 
the destroyer of the firstborn from touching his people. 
Through faith it was that they passed through the Red 
Sea, as over dry land ; but when the Egyptians made the 
attempt, they were swallowed up in its depths. 

Through faith it was that the walls of Jericho fell, 
after that seven days' march round them. Through 
faith it was that Rahab the harlot was not destroyed 
with those who had refused to surrender, since she had 
received the spies as a friend. 

What shall I further say? The. time will fail me if I 
go on to tell of Gideon, of Barak, of Samson, of Jephthah, 
of David, of Samuel, and of the prophets men who 
through faith conquered kingdoms, won victories for 

252 The Letter to the Hebrews, xi, 33 xii, 2. 

righteousness, obtained the fulfilment of God's promises, 
closed the mouths of lions, quenched the might of fire, 
escaped the devouririgs of the sword, were out of frailty 
made strong, became suddenly resistless in battle, routed 
hosts of alien foes. Women received back their dead by 
a veritable resurrection ; others were beaten to death, 
yet would not accept the opportunity of ransoming them- 
selves by apostasy : no, they meant to win a resurrection 
far better than life on such terms. Others accepted the 
test of mocking outrage, of scourging, nay more, of the 
chain and the dungeon. Stoned to death were they, 
sawn asunder, lured with tempting offers : they died by 
the murderous sword. They went about clad only in 
skins of sheep and of goats, destitute, afflicted, cruelly 
treated those who were too good for a world which 
treated them as outcasts ! wandering in desolate places 
and mountains, in caverns and in the rifts of the earth. 

These, all these, were they who through that faith 
received tokens of God's approval : yet these did not 
actually receive the fulfilment of God's promise. Why 
so ? Because God, with respect to us, looked onward to 
a higher blessing than was here attained by them, so that 
they might not reach that perfect state ere we could join 

XII. Therefore let us, like them since we have en- 
compassing us that vast cloud of witnesses for the truth 
put aside every encumbrance, put off the garment of 
sin that can so readily trammel our efforts, and with 
strong endurance let us race along the course that 
stretches before us, turning our eyes away from all else 
toward Jesus, to Him who gives the first impulse to our 
faith, to Him who brings it to final maturity. He too 
the rapturous prize that lay full in His sight compensated 
for all endured a cross, making light of the shame of it ; 
and now has He taken His seat on the right hand of the 

xii, 3 14. The Letter to the Hebrews. 253 

throne of God. Lest you should grow weary, lest your 
hearts should fail, compare with your trials those of Him 
who bore unflinchingly that bitter opposition of men who 
thus sinned against their own selves. Not yet to the last 
extremity, not to the extent of shedding your own blood, 
have you stood firm in the struggle against sin. Have 
you forgotten the divine exhortation, which appeals to 
you as God's sons? ' MY SON,* THINK NOT SCORN TO 


SON WHOM HE ACCEPTETH.' (Prov. J, 77, 12). It is for 
the ends of discipline that you now endure : as with sons 
is God dealing with you ; for what sort of son is that 
whom his father neglects to chasten ? But if you are to 
be exempt from such discipline, in which all His children 
share, it follows that you are but base-born, not true sons 
at all. Again, look at it thus : earthly fathers we all had, 
who chastened us, and we respected them for it : shall 
we not all the more cheerfully submit our wills to the 
Father of Spirits, and gain life through union with Him ? 
As for the chastisement which they inflicted, it extended 
over a brief period, it was guided by their own fallible 
judgment : what He inflicts is for our certain advantage, 
to make us partakers of His own holiness. I grant that 
all chastening, considered in the light of the immediate 
present, seems to be fraught, not with pleasure, but with 
pain ; but in the long run it yields a harvest of peace 
to those who have been disciplined by it, a harvest 
of righteousness. Since this is so, ' BRACE YE THE 


RATHER BE HEALED.' (Is. 35, 3). Let your steady aims 
be peace with all men, and that consecration without 

254 The Letter to the Hebrews. xii, 14 25. 

which no one shall see the Lord. Be on the watch to 
mark whether any one be losing ground in the grace of 
God, to mark whether there be any root of bitter poison 
springing up, which may wreck your peace, and through 
which the greater part of you may be defiled ; to mark 
whether there be any licentious person, any desecrater of 
hallowed things, such as was Esau, who for one single 
meal bartered away his rights as first-born. The act was 
irrevocable : you know how, even when he afterwards 
desired to have the blessing as his inheritance, his claim 
was disallowed for he could find no opening for a revo- 
cation of his choice although he pleaded hard, with 
tears, for the blessing. 

There is every reason for your aiming at spirituality ; 
for you have not, like those who received the first cove- 
nant, come close to the terrors of God, to a palpable 
kindled fire, to murky gloom and darkness and tempest, 
and the sound of a trumpet, and a voice that syllabled 
words a voice which made those who heard it implore 
that to them there might be no repetition of that utter- 
ance ; for they could not bear to listen to the command 
as it pealed forth : ' IF EVEN A BEAST TOUCH THE MOUN- 
TAIN, IT SHALL BE STONED : ' nay, Moses himself - 
so awful was the vision disclosed said ' I am terror- 
stricken, I quake in every limb ! ' Ah no ! you have 
come close to Mount Zion, to the city of the Living 
God, the Jerusalem on high, to untold hosts of angels, 
a great gathering and congregation of God's first-born 
sons who are enrolled in the skies, to the God of all as 
Judge, to the spirits of the righteous perfected at last, 
to the Mediator of a New Covenant, even Jesus, and to 
that Blood of the Sprinkling which pleads for mercy a 
mightier appeal than that of the blood of Abel, which 
cried for vengeance ! 

See to it that you refuse not to hearken to God who is 

xii, 25 xiii, 6. The Letter to the Hebrews. 255 

speaking to you now. For, if those your ancestors did 
not escape the consequences of their unfaith, who refused 
to hearken to Moses who uttered on earth the oracles of 
God, much more certainly shall we not escape if we turn 
our backs on Him who is speaking from the Heavens. 
He it is whose voice on that day made the earth reel to 
and fro : but now has He promised, saying, ' ONCE 

BUT THE VERY HEAVEN.' (Hag. 2, 6). Now the 6X- 

pression, ' Once more, once only,' plainly indicates the 
sweeping away of the unstable things that rock to and 
fro, of the material creation, in order that the things un- 
shaken may abide. Therefore, since the kingdom which 
we are receiving is immovable, let us hold fast God's 
grace, the means through which we may render service 
acceptably to God, with reverence and awe : for our God 
is an ever-consuming fire. 

XIII. Let love for your brother-believers be a fixed 
principle with you. To show hospitality to strangers 
you must never forget : through doing so, some have 
unawares shown hospitality to angels. Remember al- 
ways believers who are in prison : regard yourselves as 
fellow-prisoners with them. Remember those who are 
cruelly treated : bear in mind that you too, as being in 
the body, are liable to suffering. 

Whatever purists may tell you, honour, not degrada- 
tion, attends marriage, in every case : conjugal relations 
involve no defilement. It is on whoremongers and adult- 
erers that God's sentence shall fall. 

Let your character be untainted by greed of money. 
Be contented with what you have ; for He has said, ' I 

SAKE THEE ; ' (Josh. /, 5). So that we can take cour- 
age and say, ' The Lord is my helper ; I will not be 
afraid : what shall man do to me ? ' 

256 The Letter to the Hebrews. xiii, 7 17. 

Remember those who once were your spiritual guides, 
they who uttered to you the word of God. Contemplate 
the issue of their life, and imitate their faith. They 
have passed away ; but Jesus the Messiah is the same 
yesterday and to-day ; yea, also for ever. Since He is 
immutable, do not you drift about on a sea of hetero- 
geneous and alien teachings : well is it for you that your 
heart be fast anchored on God's grace, not fettered to a 
code of clean and unclean meats. People who have made 
these the study of their life have gained no benefit from 
them. Such restrictions have no application to us : we 
already have an altar of the Sacrifice of which we par- 
take ; but such as still cling to the superseded temple- 
service are disqualified from partaking of it. I say so, 
because, when the blood of the victims slain for the sin- 
offerings on the Day of Atonement is borne into the Holy 
Place by the high-priests, the bodies of these victims 
may not, like other sacrifices, be eaten by the worship- 
pers, but are burnt outside the precincts of the camp. 
For this reason also Jesus, that He might consecrate 
God's people by His own blood, suffered without the 
gate, symbolizing the fact that those who remain in 
Judaism have no part in Him. Therefore let us, who do 
accept Him, go forth to Him, outside the limits of Juda- 
ism, bearing the contumely which is heaped upon Him. 
We shall not be homeless : an abiding city we have, but 
not here : we aspire to that which is yet to be. Through 
Him, then, let us continually be offering up a sacrifice of 
praise to God, that is, ' the fruit of our lips,' as they 
render thankful acknowledgment to His name. 

To do kind actions and deeds of charity you must 
never forget : these too are sacrifices to God ; and with 
such He is well pleased. Follow the advice of your 
spiritual leaders : yield them submission. They watch 
sleeplessly over your souls, as men who will have to 

xiii, 17 25. The Letter to the Hebrews. 257 

render an account for them. Therefore hearken to them, 
so that they may render it with rejoicing, not with sigh- 
ing ; for this would be disastrous for you. Keep on 
praying for me and my helpers. We are convinced that 
we bear a good conscience, for we desire in all respects 
to live an honourable life. It is in order that I may be 
the sooner restored to you, that I more insistently appeal 
in this strain to you. 

Now may the God of Peace, who by the Blood that 
sealed the eternal Covenant brought up from among the 
dead the great Shepherd of His sheep, even our Lord 
Jesus, make you perfect in all that is good, so that you 
may do His will. May He bring to pass in you the per- 
formance of \vhat is well-pleasing in His sight, through 
the agency of Jesus the Messiah, and to Him be the 
glory through ages of ages, amen ! 

I appeal to you, my brothers ; bear with this my ap- 
peal ; for indeed I am sending you but a brief summary 
of all that was in my mind. 

You must know that our brother Timotheus has been 
released ; and in his company, if he joins me very soon, 
I shall visit you. 

Greet from me all your spiritual leaders, and all fellow- 
believers. The friends from Italy send you their greet- 
ing. God's grace be with you all : amen ! 






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sequence of subjects, and the continuity of the arguments, by the supply 
of necessary links, without comment or reference to footnotes. ... In 
this dress the reading of St. Paul's letters will to many be a new thing, and 
they will have a clearness and force not easily realized in the ordinary 
way. The reader is carried along in spite of himself, and not until the 
Epistle is ended can he lay down the book. Methodist Weekly.